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Running a business without a plan is like taking a trip without an itinerary or a map. How do know where you’re going or when you’ve arrived? More than that, making a plan sets in motion the energies that will bring about the future you’ve planned for.
In today’s podcast Gail and Erin share some observations and insights from their firm’s recent annual planning sessions. They recently spent three days with their leadership team developing a multi-phased plan comprised of a 10-year plan, a 3-year plan, and a 1-year plan. In addition to visioning the future of the firm and laying out new directions, the planning sessions helped to align the entire team around roles, goals, and big initiatives for the coming year, making sure there was clarity and buy-in from every member of the team.
The 10-year plan explores big-picture what the business will look like a decade from now. How will it be the same and how will it be different in activities and services, operations, size, revenues, team composition, and organization, etc.? Because some goals take longer to accomplish than others and may build on each other, it’s essential to think ahead.
The 3-year plan examines the changes to the business sought for the shorter term. It is a more detailed and descriptive step-by-step approach, focused on specific accomplishments and outcomes. “Looking at the three-year plan, I’m thinking about do I have to start this year, next year, and the year after that in order for us to accomplish all of those things within that three-year period,” said Gail.
The 1-year plan lays out specific objectives, tasks, and milestones that have to be met in order for the firm to make progress toward achieving its goals and vision. These are broken down into 90-day chunks and reviewed weekly to ensure everyone on the team has the resources, time, budget, and assistance they need to fulfill their roles and responsibilities.
Planning gives you focus and helps you to translate your vision into action steps that can be described and measured. When you are clear about what you want to accomplish, it has a way of becoming a reality. “All you have to do is write it down and put a plan together,” said Gail, “and it will happen.” Erin added that it’s important to state your goals positively so you are working toward positive, not negative outcomes.
If you haven’t yet done your planning for this year, do it NOW before you lose any more time. Listen to the entire podcast to learn more about planning and how it benefits your business.
Mentioned in This Podcast
Gail mentioned that her first book, Business Breakthrough, will be coming out this spring. Watch for more information in the coming months.