Gratitude changes you. Here in the USA we are coming up on Thanksgiving. It is a day that is set aside for family gatherings, eating lots of food and being thankful. At the same time, the history of the day, is challenging. And that…
This is the time of year to begin preparing for even greater success next year. Perhaps this year was good or perhaps it wasn’t. Now, is the time to gear up for more greatness in the New Year. If you have a business vision and strategic plan, pull them out and review them. Include your whole team. If you don’t have a team, then review them with your coach or an accountability partner.
As you review the vision and the strategic plan, write down what you have accomplished this year. What went really well? Make your list; you can even check it twice!! Once you have created your accomplishment list, take a moment to celebrate all that you did well. Then move on and review where you fell short. What didn’t go quite right or well? Where did you fail?
Taking time to evaluate the past year is a great way to learn from what went well, and what didn’t go well. In that learning there are valuable lessons that you can glean. List a couple of lessons for moving forward. Did you get off track, side-tracked by something? Did you not follow up with prospects? Each lesson gives you ideas for guidance into the New Year.
As you review the vision and the strategic plan, take some time to reflect on whether it is still on target. Is that vision still your vision or has it changed? Make the necessary updates to that vision. Many companies write short vision statements that barely communicate the overall vision. Put great detail in yours so that you can feel it as you read it. If your vision is to buy a new building for your company and increase your staffing by 50% then write a vision statement that includes that and describes that. You can always have the short and concise vision statement your business plan, but your use, make it a detailed story, that really motivates you and inspires you each time you read it.
What is the vision for the upcoming year? Where do you see your company at the end of the year? What type of growth, new products, new clients, or customers? What does it all look like?
Once you have your vision story written you can then focus on the strategies to accomplish your vision. Your strategies should always be based on the overall vision. When strategies are written that stray from the vision and purpose of the organization then you are going down roads that lead you in the wrong direction. Your vision and values becomes your guide for making your business decisions. Stop yourself, when you are making a decision and pull out that vision statement, your values statement and review the decision or opportunity with them all in mind.
Strategies should point to the vision and be written in a way that they are measurable. A strategy to build the business is too vague. What does build the business mean, and how do you know if you have accomplished it? But a strategy to provide coaching services to 50 new clients is measurable. Or a strategy to increase product sales by 25% is measurable.
Limit the number of strategic goals that you are working on so that your strategic plan remains focused and effective. A huge document becomes overwhelming and cumbersome and often just collects dust. A strategic plan should be a living, breathing document that you are very familiar with and guides our day to day activities because it is your focus.
Creating a new plan for the year is a great first step towards creating the success that you want. Working the plan and making it happen is the real key to producing the results that you want.
Working your plan just means keeping it in front of you, developing the smaller goals that move you towards the big goals and really staying focused. When something doesn’t work, it is not the time to abandon ship, but rather, the time to refocus, re-strategize and continue the work.
Take time before the New Year to: review and update your vision statement and story; review your accomplishments and failures for the year and glean the valuable lessons from them; review your strategic plan and update your goals for the upcoming year. Gear up for a focused and planned New Year that will ring in the next level of success for you and your company.