Refer back to Part 1 of 3 and the assessment you created for the 5 key categories for your business:
- Products & Services
- Marketing & Sales
- Personal Management
Remember that 1-10 rating you created for each?
It’s time now to consider what would bring each of these category’s ratings closer to a 10 and
What are the actions that need to take place? For now, keep it limited to only 1-3 objectives under each business category. Remember SMART and keep each objective: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
Consider an example:
For one of my clients, the category of Finances has typically been a struggle. He doesn’t like tracking his expenses and is a mess at the end of the year when it comes to gathering information for his tax accountant. He usually ends up filing for an extension as the task of compiling the information and numbers overwhelms him and leads him to procrastinate big time.
Up until now! This is the year that his Finances category rating goes from a 4 to at least an 8.
Primary objective under Finances:
Have all business income and expenses categorized and up to date in Quickbooks by the end of calendar year 2020.
To give this an added oomph, we include his “why” as well:
“To be the business professional I wish to be, I must respect the money aspect of the business. This means tracking my income and expenses and checking in on a regular basis to ensure I am on track with my income and net profit goals. I want this to be a task I enjoy rather than one I dread at the end of the year. I want to feel that sense of relief at having all of my ducks in a row and on-time, rather than feeling than feeling the pressure of tax deadlines.”
CREATE THE ACTION STEPS
Next step is breaking the steps needed to obtain this objective into their smallest chunk-able pieces.
Continuing the example:
Strategy #1: Hire someone to take on this task by 11/15/20 (yes, after several years of struggle, my client realized he will never stay on top of this himself)
- Action Step #1: Outline requirements of the role by 11/1/20, i.e. must know or be comfortable learning Quickbooks online and must be able to keep information private and confidential
- Action Step #2: Ask current assistant whether she would be interested in taking on these duties by 11/5/20. If not, develop further Action Steps for hiring new person.(as it so happens, my client’s assistant has a background in accounting so she was a perfect fit.)
Strategy #2: Gather all information needed to transition to the bookkeeper by 11/21/20.
- Action Step #1: Check on status Quickbooks account by 11/10/20.
- Substep #1: Find Quickbooks login information
- Substep #2: Ensure business bank account remains connected and download current information
- Action Step #2: Find and transfer list of expense categories to bookkeeper by 11/15/20
- Action Step #3: Gather expense receipts and give to bookkeeper by 11/15/20
- Substep #1: Give folder of receipts to bookkeeper
- Substep #2: Give assistant access to gmail account to access receipts remaining to compile.
- Action Step #4: Continue providing receipts to bookkeeper as they come in
Strategy #3: Ensure statements are run correctly.
- Action Step #1: Have bookkeeper enter necessary information and run test statements by 11/30/20.
- Action Step #2: Work with bookkeeper to adjust statement information as necessary.
Strategy #4: Have bookkeeper run year-end statements by first week in January and adjust as needed.
To help you in this task, here is a sample of a worksheet to use to breakdown each objective under each business category. Use this only as a guide. You may not use all of the space provided or you may need more. Adjust as needed.
When complete, you will have a worksheet for each of your objectives under each business category so, given that you have limited your objectives to between one and three per category, you will have between 5 and 15 objectives completely broken down into specific action steps.
Voila! The substance of your Success Plan is complete. Now mark those dates on your calendar, add the specific tasks to your to-do list or task manager and make your business dreams a reality!
And – don’t forget my modified version of a famous proverb –
“As you plan, move your feet!”