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. And typically your team will be left feeling deflated when they can’t execute them because of a lack of direction from the top. You need a sturdy plan backing your ideas up – you need a strategy.
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
The plan can be divided up into tasks once you have your clear objectives. 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 complete. The best managers will regularly have updates, understand progress, find 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. They need to understand the delivery every step of the way and support any uncertainty or issues that may arise. Objectives can change due to the business landscape so the goalposts may shift halfway through. 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.
Emma Mills-Sheffield FRSA is a strategic business advisor and coach working with clients in London and Brighton. She now helps businesses become more efficient and productive to get the best from their organisation having spent 15 years in industry. By reviewing business operations and investing in people, this encourages business growth with a more productive and happy workforce. In short, helping businesses get shi*t done.
In January 2020 she was named as one of 100 female entrepreneurs in the UK as part of the small business campaign f:Entrepreneur. The campaign including #ialso Top 100 is a collection of women who inspire their peers and communities through their businesses and wider activities.