There are none so blind as those who cannot see…
What is always in front of you but can’t ever be seen? Yup, the future. None of us have a crystal ball where we can clearly see the future. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be response-able to meet any challenges that are thrust upon us.
Sounds simple? It is simple, but it’s not easy. Preparing for the future requires 2 things:
- A Plan
- Discipline to execute the plan
First the plan
What components should be in your business plan:
- A 3-5 vision statement
- 1-year strategic objectives
- 90-day Rocks
3-5 year Vision Statement
This is a statement of clarity. We recommend a compound sentence that covers the following:
- Revenue targets
- Market segment(s)
- Product/ Service mix
- Timeline for achieving these
Having a vision statement becomes the organizations aspirational stretch. And it becomes the focal point wherein all strategies and tactics will align. Having a crystal clear focal point changes our psychological energy. It moves us to immediately start thinking about the steps needed to achieve it. It also functions as a filter to exclude all the shiny stuff that can distract us from that focal point.
1-Year Strategic Objectives
These are the time sensitive goals that MUST be achieved in the next 12 months in order to achieve the 3-5 year vision. These objectives will get us on the road to achieving that vision. They should include the following:
- 1-Year revenue and profit targets
- Specific strategic tasks that must be completed in order to achieve the revenue and profit targets
- Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) to track progress to achieving those strategies
Having 1-year goals sounds great. Right? But in the flurry of day-to-day business it’s nearly impossible to stay focused on them. What we’ve found is that business owners need to regularly work “on the business” while still working “in the business.” In order to maintain that focus, we recommend that you break those 1-year strategic objectives into something more bite-sized, and can be achieved in 3-month segments. There should be no more than 3-5 rocks (or business improvement projects taken on during the 3-month segments.
And these rocks need weekly review. In other words you should be holding a weekly meeting with yourself (and the management team) to review progress, realistically assess roadblocks, and hold each other accountable for progress in conquering these 90-day rocks. Each rock MUST have a specific individual assigned to be responsible for execution of their assigned rock(s).