Focus – Planning (Lesson 6)
In the last article we looked at time and how to use it. Getting that right will also help you gain the focus you need to set plans then carry them out.
When you’re working out your plan it’s important to keep each stage within what’s achievable. Success becomes a habit; if you’ve succeeded once, it’s a lot easier to succeed again. The trouble is that failure becomes a habit too. Don’t set yourself up to fail by making unrealistic plans.
If your overall goals look a bit intimidating, don’t let that put you off. With enough time and determination you can achieve practically anything. Any big task can be divided into small, manageable tasks, and that’s one of the main things you’ll be focusing on as you plan.
When I start working with a new client I usually have a lot of questions for them. One of my favourites usually tells me a lot about what I’ll be doing with them, but it also gives me a good insight into the sort of plans they’ve made:
“When we’re sitting here a year from now discussing how your business has progressed, what are the achievements that will make you happy?”
The first time I ask this, I usually don’t get much of an answer. When I do it’s often vague, and doesn’t really take us much further than where we already were. Few people are really clear on what it is they want to achieve – and almost none have done any meaningful planning on how they intend to get there. Don’t ask how many actually have a written plan that they regularly refer to, and track their progress against.
Everyone in your business should have goals – from the owner and CEO, through the management, sales team, administrators, all the way to the delivery drivers and cleaners. You might wonder if that’s really necessary; yes, it is. Every one of them has a role to play. They’re all dedicated to the success of your business (if you hired the right people, at least).
Without goals to aim for, your team will struggle to make progress. As the business owner, the buck stops with you; but you can’t do it all yourself. Let your team do their share by helping them set their own goals, and that means they need their own plans too. Help them get that bit right and you’ll be free to concentrate on your main own objective – growing your business.
To your success,