29th September 2016
“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now” – Alan Lakein
In life and in business it is very rare that success ever falls into someone’s lap without a large amount of careful planning and hard work in order to get them there. In business it’s incredibly important to have a clear, detailed and measurable plan in order that you and your team members can work towards the success you desire.
People often argue that the time they spend planning for success would be better spent actually working towards what they want to achieve, and so conclude that planning is a waste of time. They want to just get started and figure everything out along the way, instead of taking the time to formulate a strategy and plan.
However, a study of more than 10,000 businesses published in 2010 (source) found that planning significantly improved business performance for both new and existing companies. Another study (source) determined that companies than create a clear plan grow around 30% faster than those who do not. If that’s not enough reason to begin planning for big things in your business, then we’re not sure what is!
So, how can you plan for success?
1. Involve your team
Involving your top team – your senior management and team leaders – in agreeing strategy and objectives to work towards success is absolutely crucial in business. Hold brainstorming meetings, ask questions, request feedback, share ideas and respect the opinions of each person.
This way your team members are all involved in the business plan, know clearly what it is, and will feel valued having been given the chance to provide feedback and share their own ideas. Having team members who feel valued and appreciated is another one of the major keys to success in business!
2. Get SMART
Setting SMART objectives are also essential for working towards success in business. SMART objectives are those that are Specific, Measurable, Agreed, Realistic and Time-bound. The objectives that you wish to set up must meet these criteria in order to be truly effective.
Once your SMART objectives have been agreed upon with your senior team members, you can begin implementing them and as they are measurable you’ll know when progress has been made. Remember to take the time to acknowledge all accomplishments – no matter how big or small – as they’re all positive and necessary steps towards success.
3. Aim for clarity
Clearly define who is responsible for delivering what. Don’t assume that your team members instinctively know that you want them to do specific things and instead make it unwaveringly clear.
One of the main reasons why people can sometimes fail to meet specific criteria is that they simply haven’t been given enough guidance on what is expected of them and what results they’re due to deliver. Ensure your team members know exactly what you’re looking for from them and that they’re confident they’ll be able to deliver the results you want.
Planning isn’t something that should just be undertaken when you’re setting up business, instead it is something that you should return to often to see where improvements can be made and further success can be achieved. Each time you plan to grow, expand, change, transform or develop, be sure to follow these steps in order to give your business the best chance of succeeding.
4. Review progress regularly
It is important to review progress against your plans with your team regularly. Celebrating your successes, however small, will keep your team motivated to achieve. Take the opportunity to step back and evaluate progress and share this with your team…..if you feel something has gone off track involve them in identifying what needs to be done to resolve this.
Do you plan for success in your business?
If you would like help from an expert check out my profile on LinkedIn, Liz Metin, to see what I do. Send me a message or an email and I’ll give you a call to see how I might be able to help.
I look forward to hearing from you.