At the end of last year, we ran a webinar on how to set a business plan for a record-breaking 2017. At the start of January, maybe you were bursting to go! You were filled with ideas and possibilities and enthusiasm.
It’s as the months go by that this enthusiasm can wane, and the plans for the year as a whole can become sidelined.
Now that we’re into Q2, it’s a great time to revisit this topic.
The first quarter of the year is up. Take some time to revisit how you feel it went for you.
Perhaps it was a great winter quarter, and your question (both exciting and daunting) is: ‘How do I repeat that?’ Maybe it’s been a struggle. You’re asking yourself, perhaps subconsciously: ‘How do I make sure these next few months make up for that?’ Or possibly you’re setting big goals for yourself, and your question is: ‘How do I actually make sure I follow through in these next 3, 6, 9 months? What do I need to do to accomplish my goals by the end of this year?’
As you look towards the next quarter, and beyond that to the next nine months of 2017, integrate these three best practices into your planning for the best chance of success:
(1) You only know where you’re going if you look back at where you’ve come from.
The best goal-setting is informed goal-setting. If you haven’t inspected your foundation before laying your first brick, then the building won’t last long — no matter how impressive your blueprint is. It’s exciting to look to the future, but take the time now to reflect on 2016, and whether anything changed in the first quarter of 2017. What were your biggest successes last year? Your struggles? Why? What surprised you? How have you begun implementing changes in Q1 of 2017? What are you doing now that you weren’t doing this time last year?
(2) Self-evaluate. Ruthlessly.
First, analyze your effectiveness in the areas that matter most: rank yourself out of 10, firstly for the last year and then for the last three months. For example, how would you rate your team (or yourself, if you’re alone) in lead generation? Marketing and brand awareness? Leadership? Have any of those ratings improved for Q1 of 2017? If not, why not?
Second, set a goal for where you want to get to by the end of this year. If you’re only a 4/10 in sales, don’t aim to get to a 10 in the next 9 months. Inflating the speed of growth won’t do anyone a favour. Then, envision that goal. Perhaps you want to get to a 6/10. What that would look like? Write that down in as much detail as you can.
(3) Visualize the long-term future
To know where you want the next year to take you, think of where you want to go long-term. Five or 10 years from now, what does your business look like? How many staff do you have? What’s your annual revenue? Profit? How many hours a week do you work? Do you expand to target a bigger range of demographics, or diversify your services? Write this down, too. And share these goals — with us or with a business partner — because that scientifically increases your chance of achieving them.
Schedule time at the start of Q3 and Q4 to go over these same questions. It’s even better if you can revisit them on a monthly or even weekly basis. It’s by regular check-ins that we can best recalibrate our efforts and make sure that by the end of December, we had the very best year possible.
Our RESULTS Members gain 24/7 access to our webinar, “Guide to Setting a Record-Breaking 2017 Business Plan” (available in video and audio-only content), as well as exclusive live support, resources and training materials to keep them accountable and achieve their goals. Join our waitlist so you’re the first to know when we re-open registration.