Time for a little spring cleaning? It may be that your business and marketing plan may have a few layers of dust on it as well. So break out your virtual feather duster and let's get to work!
Below is a basic checklist, as well as a few action steps, to help you get your master plan all cleaned up and ready to grow. Hopefully when you designed your plan (even if it's on the back of a napkin) you indicated some actionable steps to achieve your vision. Now you want to make sure that everything in the plan is still relevant and that you are on target with your goals. So let's revisit the steps in your plan so that it will get you to wherever you want to be by year's end. I know that we are only a few months into the year but look at it this way--if you are falling behind in 1st quarter imagine the mess you'll be in by the end of the year! Don't make empty promises that you'll make up for it, instead take action now.
So take out your plan and list of goals (if you don't have one then schedule time to do it now). Here are some questions to ask about each goal, along with suggestions to keep you on task.
[ ] Am I on schedule to complete this goal (or has it been completed)?
[ ] If you have achieved the goal or you are on schedule to complete it, ask what the next steps are. If you do not have them documented, do it now.
[ ] If something has been left undone ask if it's still relevant to the long term plan and goals. If it is not, then remove it from your list and replace it with something that is relevant.
[ ] Now take a look at any of the steps or goals that are not on schedule and ask what got in the way of completion. Write these things down.
[ ] Next, ask yourself if these are valid reasons or excuses that continue month after month, year after year.
[ ] If they are valid, meaning that you have had a turn of events or something unexpected came on the scene that is more important than this goal. Remember, day to day fires don't count. Running out of time doesn't count. These are just excuses that keep you from building your business and the systems and processes that support its growth. Losing an employee doesn't even count; you must have a process in place for new hires and training. Your business can't come to a grinding halt every time you lose an employee! How many of your goals and tasks have taken a back seat to problems or poor time management? How many have you completed on schedule? This reality check is critical to your success. If the list of things that prevented you from moving forward is made up of excuses it's time to get help:
a qualified coach will help you figure out why you are procrastinating and self-sabotaging your company's growth and hold you accountable to your goals. Perhaps you would do well to team up with a peer and have weekly meetings to check on one another's progress. Being accountable to a strong mentor may also do the trick.
You'll be happy that you checked in on your master plan; it's a good thing to do quarterly at the very least. Again, don't let distractions and recurring problems get in your way. Easier said than done in some cases, but with guidance and support you can do it!