Simple business planning tips

It’s never too late. Five Business Planning Tips to Make 2018 Your Best Year Ever

Business Planning Tips

January has whizzed past and we are well into 2018 with a deep-set hope that this year will be better than the last. We’ll have better business, our turnover will improve and our sales figures will be shining examples of doing broking right. Today we’re looking at five business planning tips to ensure you’re on the right bus!

Everyone is back at their desks and the beach sand is gone from between their toes, the business of doing business is well underway, and life is “back to normal”. If you’ve been taken by surprise and not set your goals for 2018, then this first week of February is time to get them laid out!

1 – Set goals you can work with

There are three types of goals: easy, challenging and reach-for-the-stars. All three goal types have their place in your business, and you should set several of each kind. Why? It all boils down to psychology.

Easy wins are not only going to bring in some much-needed cash flow, but are also going to be very motivating to you and your team. Challenging goals will take more time and energy, but they are the big wins that will drive your business to greatness. Reach-for-the-stars goals are there for two reasons: one, if you don’t reach them, it doesn’t mean the end of your business, but if you do, it means stratospheric growth; two, they’re there as the ultimate challenge, something for you and the team to strive for and encourage personal and professional growth.

2 – Strategy clean-up

You’re not going to be doing any good business in 2018 without a winning strategy. That doesn’t mean dusting off 2017’s strategy and trotting it out, however – this is a new year, with new challenges, so take the time to go through your old strategy and weed out the parts that don’t work. Don’t be afraid to discard the old ways if they aren’t maximising your effectivity.

Of course, we don’t want to get rid of everything, not if there’s good stuff in there. Look at what worked, and see where you can do more of the same, or improve on a winning strategy. This is the ideal time to work on strategy, when there are fewer distractions and less hectic business taking up your time and energy.

3 – Get the whole team involved

Your success depends on your relationships with your entire team, both internal and external. Get input from everyone in the team, therefore, so you can make sure your whole engine is running smoothly. You never know who might have that killer idea for refining a process or winning a new client, and you don’t want to miss that idea just because you thought it was all your responsibility.

Building a strong team by valuing everyone’s input and implementing ideas that work means you will have a support structure you can rely on and trust to get the job done when it needs doing. Plan ways to get everyone involved from their first day back at work.

4 – Buy into the customer experience

There’s a long history of doing things the same way, over and over, with just a few tweaks here and there, in the industry. Of course, many of those things are legislated and required, so there’s not much you can do about it, but you can manage your customer’s experience of the whole process. Make sure you are up to date with what is happening on every single sale, and keep your after-sales service impeccable.

Now is the perfect time to read up on and study the growing customer experience movement, and implement ways you can improve yours.

5 – Skills planning

Is there someone on your team whose untapped potential is going to waste? What about that person who’s trying really hard but can’t get to grips with something? Could either of these people use some training and skills upgrading? Plan and research upskilling for your team, as well as yourself.

Find out what industry-relevant training might be offered throughout the year, make arrangements for in-house training, and encourage attendance at relevant conferences to make sure you and your team are up to date and in the know.

We know you’re excited by the changes that are afoot. The country is buzzing with hope and expectation that the right decisions will see business confidence and activity on the up. Good luck with your planning and don’t hesitate to drop me a mail at sean.gilliland@dfc.discovery.co.za if you’re looking to up your advisory game this year.

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