A goal without a plan is just a wish.” So, is your year ahead a plan or a wish?
By Nancy Dewald,
Lead Up Training and Consulting
In the last couple of years, many have spent their time constantly putting out fires and reacting to business challenges.
Not only is this exhausting; it certainly takes the fun out of being a business owner.
Yes, I said it. Being a business owner can be fun!
A well-planned year is the best thing you can do for your business and the key to leading your business versus constantly reacting to it.
How do we set ourselves up to get closer to leading our business in 2022?
Consider the following two strategies to get started.
Every business should have a business plan in place.
There is a misconception that the purpose of a business plan is to get a loan approved, when in fact it should be a living document that will provide clarity and direction when making business decisions.
The plan does not have to be colourful and fancy with big words. It simply needs to clearly define your target audience and your market. Once these are defined, you can drill down and align all the business strategies that go into delivering your services, including marketing, people, finance and operations.
For example, once you have identified your target market, you will be sure your marketing is seen where they spend their time (versus trying to market everywhere), you will buy your product primarily with them in mind and your hours of operations will reflect their needs.
The plan should be updated as your business moves through its lifecycle or major factors change.
A well-thought-out budget with action steps that can be addressed a month at a time will help an owner get in control of their business.
Ideally, we would start prior to the new year. That said, it is never too late to make a start.
Here are a few tips to get started:
- Involve your team in budgeting discussion – the more insights you have the more accurate the plan will be;
- Review each month’s results from the previous year and talk through contributing factors in 2021. Particularly where you saw unusual increases or decreases;
- Track how your business has been trending over the last couple of years – past performance is a good predictor of future if no substantial changes are made;
- Consider how factors like the ones below will impact 2022. Once factored in determine a sales goal by month.
- Peak seasons in our industry, i.e. back to school extra marketing or product;
- Promotions that impact the business, i.e. cost and revenue expected when you run a promotion;
- Change in doctor coverage, i.e. adding a doctor;
- Regulatory or industry changes, i.e. expanded scope of care;
- Changes in your community or local industry, i.e. losing a manufacturing plant or adding one
- Equipment needs, i.e. will you be adding equipment? If so, consider the cost and if it will generate additional revenue;
- Expected changes to expenses;
- Changes to labour costs, i.e. adding benefits to your business, min wage changes.
- Once you have the sales goals for each month, add action steps and plans – ideally working a minimum of one to two months out
(ie: if adding doctor hours in March – in January we should be determining what’s needed to be done to ensure we generate the planned revenue. Is staff training required, do we need to alter the schedule, what does onboarding look like, so the doctor knows the offices best practices.)
(ie: expanded scope of care – what training is required, how will we educate our patients, what other professionals should be informed to increase referrals, do we require additional equipment or supplies?)
- Share the plans with the team by month, delegate tasks, track progress and follow up.
This may seem like a lot. If needed, start slow, focus on a month at a time, set a sales goal, brainstorm action steps and agree on your plan. The key is to start.
“The hardest thing about getting started is getting started.” – Guy Kawasak