Editor's Note: This is the third article in a three-part series by Fred Haskett focused on establishing business plan that produces results and moves your business forward.
Okay, quick recap before we hit the final step in our journey to establish a solid business plan that will actually work to propel your business forward and improve your bottom line.
Step 1 dealt with the current reality and the notion of getting a handle on where you are presently at before you can determine where you’re headed. By definition, current reality is the total of all the elements, metrics and factors – both internal and external -- present at a given point in time.
Step 2 set the goals. For example, how much do I want to try to grow my business, and how much profit do I plan to make? Each company must find its own goals based on its own particular needs.
So, now that you know where you are at and you have laid out where you are going. The final step in the planning journey is to develop your action plan. How are you going to get “from here to there?” This will be your road map for achieving your goals.
High-level and supporting goals are critical. They are also the precursor to the important question: “How am I going to get to there?”
Cowboy’s coaching great Tom Landry may have said it best about goal setting: “Setting a goal is not the main thing... It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.”
Once you have established your goals, make sure your goals are SMART ones. The SMART test helps you ensure your goals can be validated and effective.
Ask yourself if your goals are:
Specific – What is expected, why is it important and who is going to do it?
Measurable – How will I know if it’s done? How will I know if we’re on track?
Achievable – Is it possible and realistic to succeed?
Relevant – Will achieving this goal drive you toward a meaningful objective?
Time-Based – Specifically, when will the goal be met, or will be unmet but finished
It is an essential part of creating an action plan to achieve each goal to identify...
- The who, as in who will champion this initiative?
- The why, relating to why are we doing this? Will doing it achieve the goal?
- The what, inferring what steps and metrics are we implementing?
- Is the progress measurable?
- Is it possible to accomplish?
- Does it address your big-picture objectives?
- Can you give it a timeframe?
If so, it can be a SMART goal. If it fails any one of these tests, then try again.
This 3-Step model isn’t the most formal or rigorous planning process, but it will give you a quick win for 2020. If the system works for you, use it to create annual and quarterly goals to plan out your growth from year to year and from season to season.
American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson may have summed it up best when he said: “Few people have any next... They live from hand to mouth without a plan... And are always at the end of their line.”
While the new year is well underway, it’s never too late to develop a plan for your success. While no plan is perfect, the gravest error is to continue forward with no plan at all.
As Head Harvester, with the Harvest Landscape Consulting Group, Fred Haskett coaches green and white industry owners. He is also a frequent Snow Magazine contributor.