So, the business plan is written and a pile of docs or a hefty file on your computer is looking at you ready for action, but how do you go about bringing all that hard thinking to life? How do you plan to actually get sh!t done?
All the ideas but not a plan in sight
We’ve all been in those meetings where people are having big ideas and some top end thinking, but they’re not really talking about how these ideas are going to be executed, who by and by when. This can leave them left high in the sky, unreachable and unachievable as they don’t have a sturdy plan backing them up. Or a team feeling deflated when they can’t execute them because of a lack of direction from the top.
You need to have crystal clear objectives
I work with a lot of clients to help implement their business plans in clear, manageable steps and in a realistic manner. What I always start with is their objectives and having them crystal clear as these are the crux of all activity and noise.
Imagine one of your objectives is to obtain five new clients in the next six months. This is a specific and precise objective that has clear parameters and expected results. Once you have this clarity, the next stage is to build a plan to achieve it – ok, so we need to get five new clients, let’s break that down to possible routes to obtain them. Then the plan suddenly goes from unreachable and wooly to clear and achievable.
Getting your team to rally around your objectives
Once you have clear objectives, the plan can be divided up into tasks. So, keeping with the same example as above – you know you need to get five new clients in six months – looking at the team around you, divide tasks and delegate clearly. You could give five of your team members the task of acquiring one client each in the timeframe, or you could set up a small team tasked with this objective that you manage and lead.
Coaching, monitoring and supporting
But it’s not enough to just set the task and let people get on with it. The best examples of business plans being implemented well is when there is regular check-ins and updates. It is a dangerous game checking how your team are doing with a certain task you set them eight weeks ago they day before it is due to be completed; the best managers will regularly have updates, understand progress, any roadblocks and manage accordingly. This can include supporting staff that may be struggling or re-shaping the team dynamic to suit the task best.
Leadership and communication
The secret to implementing a good business plan is not only having it fully understood it in the first place but having a leadership team who are managing and checking progress, understanding the delivery every step of the way and supporting any uncertainty or issues that may arise. Objectives can change due to the business landscape so the goalposts may shift halfway through the work and it’s a sign of a good leader who can manage this sea change in a calm, visible and supportive manner.
If you need help implementing your business plan and getting sh!t done, I would love to work with you and / or your team. Do drop me a line.