How do you move your strategy forward?
How do you move your strategy forward?
You have taken the time to lay out your vision for your company. You’ve thought through the values that underpin your business and communicated both your vision and your values to your team. Then you set out some goals for your business for the next 3 - 5 years and some interim SMART objectives for the next year. Congratulations! You have completed more work and developed more clarity than many small business owners I have talked with in my business coaching practice.
And now what? How does knowing all that help your business?
Clarity is Critical
Knowing what you want to accomplish gives you a head start on developing the clarity you need to execute on that vision. Without that clarity, you are destined to blow with the winds of change, never really sure where the journey is taking you. That clarity gives you a sense of control and puts a stake in the ground that is a concrete description of what you are working on. And it provides the benchmarks to test whether you are moving in the right direction.
So is that the end point? How do you move forward from here?
3 Keys to Executing on Your Business Strategy
1. Lay out a plan
Lets imagine that your objective is that your Food Manufacturing company achieves $2.4 Million in revenue in the next fiscal year. You might start to come up with a series of objections or challenges to you actually achieving that target:
- Do you have an adequate sales process?
- Is your marketing delivering sufficient leads to generate your revenue objective?
- Do you have sufficient production capacity to deliver that volume of product?
- Do you have sufficient people and resources to serve your customers and build your excellent customer experience?
- Do you have an effective administrative process to capture all the regulatory and traceability information required?
Having a comprehensive list of these barriers is an awesome resource. These challenges provide you a ready list of the issues and plans you can start to build to answer the questions. It’s a rich source of information for what work needs to be done to achieve your objective.
With your team, assemble a list of all the tasks you need to accomplish and in what order, to meet each of the specific challenges you’ve identified. This may be a straight-forward task or could be quite complex and take some time. Here, you want to ensure that you capture as many of the critical tasks as you can and lay them out in a logical progression of steps.
Now delegate these tasks to someone on the team. Every single critical task needs to have a person accountable for completing that task. They need to know a crisp description of what needs to be done, by when it must be completed, how much it can cost, to what quality standard it needs to be completed and with what standard of customer experience should it be delivered.
2. Develop KPI’s that measure and reinforce your activity performance in critical areas
I’m sure you have heard that saying that you can’t control what you don’t measure. Measurement is meaningless without the context of why you are measuring something in the first place. So if you are asking your team “How’s it going with growing our revenues?”, should you be surprised if they answer “It’s going ok…”? Regular and frequent reporting on critical KPIs for your objective gives you the information you need to assess whether the business activity levels and actions are delivering the performance needed.
So based on our earlier assumption of a $2.4 Million revenue target, that translates into $200,000 monthly sales. How many sales contracts need to be completed to generate that revenue? How many leads need to be generated to fill your sales pipeline? Is your business activity generating conversations to create those leads? Finding those critical activity points with associated timeframes for measurement gives you the keys to chart progress and inspire the action needed to reach your objective.
3. Take Action
As I talked about in my previous blog, small steps, compounded week after week, deliver massive results. We refer to it as the 1% rule. If you make one small improvement in your business, let’s say in sales, every 2 weeks, just 1% better than you were previously, that’s a 26% increase annually. If you continue that consistent improvement, you would double your sales in just 3 years. Compound that over a few years and you will have made a dramatic increase in your sales. Could you do something that would improve your sales by 0.5% this week? I’m pretty confident the answer is: Yes! Making those changes now will start the compounding process and begin the journey of taking your company where you want it to go.
So the simple point here is simply: Start! Take that first step. Build the plan. Act on the opportunity with those first steps. Don’t allow your uncertainty or fear to hold you back.
Flawless execution on a strategic vision for your company is one of the most important activities for your growth oriented business. Without that action, your strategy is simply a dream that has been put to paper. Contact me today to find out how building and executing a clear plan of action can get you where you want to go. Business coaching might be part of the answer to delivering on your goals consistently.