If you want your next year to be the best yet but don’t know how to make that happen because this and previous years haven’t lived up to expectations then this post is for you.
Like many business owners you want each year to be better than the last and to reach a certain level. Unfortunately the reality can be very different because things don’t go according to plan and you miss your goals.
The reason things don’t go according to plan and goals are missed isn’t necessarily because the goals are unachievable or that, on paper, the plan is unrealistic – it’s because the preparation needed to make the plan work and to meet the goals is inadequate.
Preparation is Everything
Say you wanted to run a marathon for charity but you’ve not run for many years beyond chasing the kids or grandkids. Now you don’t know how to plan for this but you happen to be friends with a friend of say Paula Radcliffe and through these connections you get the best plan for running a marathon possible.
Now let’s say months down the line your plan says you should be at stage 7 but you’re only at stage 3. There’s nothing wrong with the plan – what’s wrong is that you weren’t prepared enough to execute it.
You hadn’t prepared mentally for the time and effort the training would involve and the upheaval that would cause the family. You hadn’t taken into account some family events and weekends away. You hadn’t been as strict with your diet and alcohol in-take that you needed to be. You didn’t get enough sleep and was sometimes too tired to go for runs.
The plan was fine and you could have run that marathon but because you weren’t fully prepared for what it would take you couldn’t keep up with the plan and you backed out of running the race.
In business, preparation is everything too. No matter how good the plan and how challenging but realistic the goals, if your business isn’t prepared to make the plan work, if it isn’t strong enough for the journey, then the plan will become a paper exercise and your goals will be missed.
How Do You Prepare for the Year Ahead?
So, how do you make sure you can meet your targets for the year ahead? In my previous post I talked generally about where to start and pointed you to my free email course, which gives you 6 powerful tips on how to achieve your aims.
The first tip is all about how to set the right destination to aim for. (If you didn’t check this out there is information about that free course at the end of this post and in the side banner.)
The 3rd tip is all about preparing for the journey to that destination. It’s about knowing exactly where your business is now. It’s about knowing where it is strong and where it is weak and vulnerable. You need to know that your business is strong enough to make the journey.
Get that right and make it strong enough and your chances of hitting your goals are massively increased.
To prepare for this journey there a 2 things you must know:
- What makes a business strong and
- How strong your business is in comparison.
1. What Makes a Business Strong?
You need to compare how strong your business is to some guidelines of what makes a strong business. Fortunately, I’ve been researched and figured this out having helped many businesses over the years and have written such a guide.
I’ve written about the 4 areas – or levels – of strength in my ebook “How Strong Is Your Business”. I have also recorded an audio book version that you can download using a link inside the eBook.
Your business needs to be strong in 4 distinct ways.
- It needs to be able to avoid, eliminate or overcome the things that can harm it.
- It needs to have a clear destination that it can purposefully aim towards.
- It needs to flow efficiently and effectively.
- It needs you to be in control.
Get these 4 areas right and you will have a strong business that is fully prepared for the journey ahead.
2. How Strong Is Your Business in Comparison?
In this eBook I also set 25 business statements, which cover these 4 levels of strength and against which you can score your business. This will give you a high-level view of how strong your business is.
To be fully prepared to meet your goals you need to accurately assess all aspects of your business as they relate to these 4 levels. 25 statements won’t do that – but over 100 statements will.
At the end of the eBook I point you to a health check tool that you can use to more thoroughly assess where your business is strong and where it is potentially weak and vulnerable. Here’s the link to the tool but you should read or listen to the eBook first.
I use this same tool with all my clients and in an hour or so it gives me a very accurate picture of where effort is needed to make a business strong and ready to meet its future goals.
If a part of your business didn’t have the capability needed and impacted your overall ability to meet your goals wouldn’t you want to know so that you could do something about it? Of course you would.
If there were a hazard or risk lurking between where you are now and your destination, wouldn’t you want to know about it so that you could avoid or overcome it? Of course you would.
Don’t cross the road with your eyes shut. Be prepared for the journey and meet your goals.
Photo credit: By Cpl Christopher Q. Stone [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons