I remember once being told; “you can be ‘accidentally successful, or successful on purpose”.
The problem with being accidentally successful, is it’s then very hard to, learn, replicate and apply that success to different situations in the future.
We often hear from companies that they want to ‘double their revenue in five years’. That is an awesome ambition – but we follow that with, ‘how are you planning to do that?’, and so many business owners are unsure.
“Failing to plan, is planning to fail.” ~Benjamin Franklin
It’s become almost cliché, but like quotes like this one by Benjamin Franklin, it’s accurate. Knowing where you are going, will help pave the way to getting there. It will help you make choices and whilst you will likely adapt your plan over time, it will give you and your team clarity of how to reach your ambition.
Strategy, Roadmap, Plan
In my earlier career, I used to get nervous when I heard the word ‘strategy’, I would see executive teams head off on ‘strategy days’ and had no idea what they were about, but remember thinking it must be a really high level and intelligent conversation. And maybe it was… but I have learned over the years a strategy is just a plan, or some like to call it a roadmap (no doubt there are a number of other names for it, which I would love to hear in the comments section!).
Have you ever noticed there are countless business books? My view on this is whilst you can learn something from these books, business isn’t an exact science so there is no perfect book. And likewise, there is no perfect plan.
What we believe the three essentials of a great plan look like:
- Mirror holders – a great plan will be tested on your trusted advisors that will hold a mirror up to you and give you feedback as to where they see the strengths and gaps in your plan. Watch out for the naysayers that are very good at picking holes in your plan, but have no recommendations to add.
- Three, three, three – when creating a plan, I always try and set three strategic objectives. One of them might be around developing a high performing team, then underneath that objective you might have three objectives of hiring, retaining and growing talent and then beneath that three tactical actions to achieve that.
- It has a beating heart – many great strategies are made on expensive off-sites, where everybody is pumped up and high fiving. That can be great for team building and morale, but that strategy document often then ends up in the top drawer, never to be thought of again. It’s important to check in on that plan every so often, but more importantly nail the actions.
We can help
If you don’t know where to start with your planning, reach out to the many advisors that are available. We at Sprout run a Clarity Workshop for those that have great ambitions, but are unsure of where to start and how to achieve it. If you mention that you read this blog on www.109.co.nz we will reduce the cost of the workshop by 15%.
Good luck in growing your business, it’s a fun ride. Remember – create a robust plan, execute it and then you will be in a position to write a bestseller in the next five years.