Business success is a result of careful planning. Yet, even the most considered, well-thought-out business plan is just a stack of paper if you don’t implement it!
Throughout your business plan, there should be clear goals that outline what you want to achieve. Some of these goals might include employing a new customer support executive or downsizing the office due to increased homeworking.
To help ensure you achieve these goals, consider adding an implementation or action plan as a supplement to your business plan. This supplement should further break down the specific actions required to accomplish each goal. For example, when recruiting for a new employee, you might create a list of things to do, which might include:
- Outline job specification and salary
- Speak to a recruitment agency or post on job sites and LinkedIn
- Arrange interview dates
- Create contract with HR
Next, you need to turn this list into an implementation plan.
Step 1: Assign accountability
There is one sure-fire way to achieve your business goals, and that’s implementing the actions you set out in your business plan. The best way to accomplish this is to assign accountability.
To help break it down further, detail who is responsible and who is accountable. These might be the same person, or they could be different. For example, one person might be responsible for posting the new customer support executive’s job specification because they are more experienced at recruitment. However, it might be a different person who is ultimately accountable for approving the hire.
Although the hiring process is heavily reliant on the person responsible, it’s the person accountable that needs to drive the process and ensure it’s complete.
Even if you are a small business or sole-trader, someone needs to be accountable for achieving your business goals. However, in these circumstances, the best person might not be yourself. If you’re in this situation, you know what will happen; you’ll be too busy doing the work to focus on the business itself.
This is where an independent business consultant can add real value – they can hold you accountable.
Learn how the co-founders of Eaglet Business Systems Ltd, completely turned their business around by working with ETC to assign accountability and make time to focus on the business. Eaglet Case Study.
Step 2: Create checkpoints
The simplest way to ensure you’re moving forward, implementing your actions and celebrating milestones is to hold regular management meetings.
It might seem like an arduous exercise that takes senior people away from day-to-day operations, but it’s a critical element to achieving your goals. Yes, you might not see giant leaps forward between each meeting, but this is better than suddenly realising you’re heading in the wrong direction when it’s too late in the day to course correct.
Also, you can be sure that most of the activity actually happens right before these meetings. It’s likely that without them, other distractions will take priority and you won’t achieve as much.
Step 3: Celebrate and reward achievements
When working towards larger goals (that might take more than 1-year), it can be easy to forget to see the wood through the trees.
All objectives should be timebound, as should each item on your implementation plan. When you meet milestones, celebrate and assign an appropriate reward (even if it’s just a special mention at the next meeting).
It’s natural to have negative associations about regular progress meetings and assigning accountability. However, positive enforcement can encourage you and others to continue to meet targets.
So, next time you achieve something, make sure you celebrate the win!
How can ETC help
If you need help creating or implementing your business plan, please get in touch.
If you are new to ETC, why not contact us for a free new business review? We’ll spend two hours with you, giving you professional coaching and will leave you with actions for immediate implementation.