A SMARTer Plan for 2016

One of the habits of successful business owners is their ability to plan and create their own future. For the next 12 months to be your best ever, use the steps below to create the framework for that success.

Clarity precedes mastery. Being absolutely clear on the type of business and life that you would love to lead is essential in attracting what you desire. Generalities and vagueness leads to vague results, specificity makes it real. The most important point here is to write down and describe in specific detail the results you would like to produce in your business and your life in 12 months’ time. No detail is too small. It has been said that if you don’t know what you want in life you will accept anything that comes along.

Now write down all of the essential elements that are required for you to achieve point number one. Think about the people that you would need on your team or to meet in your life, the plans that you need to create, the types of clients/customers that you would love in your business, time management plan, positive cash flow, etc. List out all the elements. This is really all the ingredients for this recipe to succeed, based on what you are currently aware of.

It is now important to create some specific objectives that are almost like stepping stones or ‘steps in the recipe to winning’. Ideally this should follow the following principle SMART.

S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Ambitious
R = Realistic
T = Time Frame

Examples of key objectives are:
To maintain a minimum balance of $50,000 in our trading account at all times from 30th of June, 2016. To launch a new range of products by 31st of March, 2016.
They are specific, then measurable, ambitious which means it is going to be a stretch, is realistic that it can be accomplished, and has a time frame.

As we have specific key outcomes that is described in point number one, looking at on where to go first will help you move closer towards the big picture. Breaking down your journey into small bite size pieces makes it easier to accomplish. It has been said that we overestimate what we can accomplish in a short period of time, however underestimate what we can accomplished in a long period of time.
Write out three to four key steps that that you would take in the next 90 days. Again, you can follow the SMART Principle for these if you wish. An example maybe: Implement a marketing plan for business by 15th January, 2015. The smaller steps are where your focus needs to be every day in some way for the next 90 days. Top producers block out the time to work on these 90 day plans every single day. If you focus your first 60 to 90 minutes of every day on one of your desired key outcomes in the next 90 days, you can possibly transform your business. It takes discipline and focus however the results will speak for themselves.

Having a measurement of your progress is important to maintain your motivation and enthusiasm. Making a visual scoreboard breeds accountability. If you would love to involve your team in the outcome for your business then creating a visual scoreboard will give direct feedback back to your team on how you are progressing – and this is important if you would like them engaged to assist you to achieve the business goals.

Your ability to check in to see how you are progressing; that is whether you are on or off track ,is key to staying focused. Just like a GPS gives you feedback as to whether you are straying off your course, your review structure will do the same. A suggestion is for you to meet at least weekly with your key team players to review your progress. Monthly is vital and definitely quarterly is essential. Many businesses instigate a regular daily huddle. This is a 6 to 9 minute stand-up meeting, allowing everyone to share wins, roadblocks and what projects they are working that are aligned with the overall big picture.

The plan to achieve a winning 12 months is written above, however what is required from here is the focus and the discipline to stick to the plan. As we live in a sea of distraction, you will be tempted to stray from the path. Recognise this and when it does happen acknowledge it and realign yourself with the outcomes that you desire.

Contact us if you would like further assistance in setting SMART goals for the following year.

Ellen Mubwandarikwa