If you’re like me (and many other people I know) the holidays are an opportune time to reflect on what has been and dream about what may come. I use this time to take stock – celebrate the year’s successes, identify what is working, consider what could be improved and set forth a plan to make it a reality.
After all “failing to plan is planning to fail”. But here’s the deal. The planning methods of yester year are no longer viable for our fast paced, ever changing world. By the time the ink is dry there are changes to be made. Before you throw in the towel and abandon planning, take heart there is a better way. And it involves less resources (i.e. time). Consider a tool I’ve developed called the Profit Maximizer because it does just that, maximizes your resources to create more green. Below is a Reader’s Digest version you can use to work “on” vs. “in” your business
Align to your Strengths: Clarify both your individual and organizational strengths. If you are working your personal strengths you are much more productive and able accomplish things in a fraction of the time. If something is not your strength find someone else who has that strength and is willing to do it (employee or outsourced partner) or systemize it to make it dead easy. As an organization get clear on your mission – i.e. why you exist. Make sure all of your product/service offerings and customer segments are aligned to and value your mission.
Improve Efficiencies: You’ve got to look before you leap and systemize your current workflow before you expand into new areas and take advantage of opportunities. If you haven’t streamlined and systemized your current day to day routines you will run out of capacity quicker than you can say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and quite possibly damage your current business and fail at your expansion. Map out your workflow and audit your processes to make sure you are ready to hit the gas.
Prioritize the “new”: All opportunities are not equal. Some require more resources, some have a longer payback and some are outside of your realm of experience. Start with short term wins that will create revenue to invest in longer payback opportunities. And the bonus, having experienced a win your team will have faith, a must for a “can do” culture.
And finally you can’t manage what you don’t measure, so be sure to create a measurement system to track and communicate your progress. All the best in 2013, here’s to your success!