ActionCOACH Southern Indiana

3.5 Steps to Planning For Success

We all know that setting goals and planning are an important part of success in running a business, but it’s easy to get off track.  We make Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs) that we never reach, and in general we do things like budget and set modest goals that we only sometimes, kinda use.  And just short time after setting our goals we lose track of them, and we end up wherever we end up because we worked hard (mostly), although not always in a focused way.

What if there was a better way? 

What if there was a simple 3.5 Step process for Goal Setting and Achieving that actually worked?  Well, I am here to tell you there is, and that it works for dozens of my clients every single year and quarter.

Step 1

Step 1 is defining your Top 5 Priorities for the year or quarter, both Personal and Business.  Priorities are usually 1-3 word phrases that are sometimes also called Themes.  For example, “Increase Sales” might be a Priority for your business, while “Dinner with Family” or “Family Vacation” might be personal Priorities/Themes.

Step 2

Step 2 is defining your Top 5 Personal and Business Goals, using the SMART Goal approach: Specific, Measurable (or Observable), Attainable, Results-Oriented, in a Timeframe.  Your Goals should be specific outcomes or results, and not actions you want to take or things you want to do – those are step 3.

Step 3

Step 3 is picking Strategies, and planning the implementation of those Strategies.  Each Goal should have one or two Primary Strategies you intend to implement to achieve the desired outcome/result (Goal).  You may also wish to think through the potential obstacles and roadblocks you anticipate encountering on the way to the goal and make sure the Strategy implementation takes them into account. Assign your implementation steps to a team member (or yourself) along with a due date.

Step 3.5

Step 3.5 is the most important…look at your plan regularly, use it, and re-plan every quarter. What’s the point of mapping out your goals and making plans if you don’t use them? When you look at your plan at least once a week and evaluate your implementation (step 3), it will help you stay on track to reach your goals.

Your situation can change easily based on outside factors and the changing needs of your business and yourself. That’s why it’s important to set aside time at least once-a-quarter to revisit your goals and your plan. Even if your goals remain the same, setting aside quarterly planning time will help you re-charge and take a fresh look at your implementation.

Author: Mark McNulty, Business Coach in Louisville

Still need help planning? Attend our GrowthCLUB Planning Workshop. We’ll walk you through Steps 1-3 so you have a ready-to-implement plan for your business.