Use the following seven steps to assist you in creating your written guide to follow throughout the year.
1. Write down your vision.
Revisit your business plan. What is your dream? Has your dream changed? Clarify your thoughts and write your vision in one or two sentences. This is the first tangible step to making your dreams a reality. Simply put – If you don't know where you're going - how will you ever know when you arrive?
2. Define your core business.
What's your mission? What will you do to achieve the dream? Write it down and refine it until you're left with one succinct sentence. Use this mission as the basis for your Unique Selling Proposition.
3. Set ambitious goals.
Using your vision and mission as the foundation, set your goals. Be ambitious. By setting and achieving ambitious goals, we reveal our capacities, realize our potential, and take one step closer to living the life of our dreams. Start with long term goals and then break them down into annual, quarterly and monthly goals. Focus on these smaller manageable goals and you'll accomplish your ambitious goal.
4. Develop a strategy.
Review last year's operating information. What needs to be done to achieve your goals this year? How can you best use your resources? What else do you need?
What specific actions or tasks will you help carry out your strategy (or strategies)? What will it cost? Do you need to cut costs? What sales do you need to have to cover the costs? How will you generate new sales? Do you need new staff? Using your quarterly and monthly goals as a guide, create a sequence of actions and corresponding time frame.
6. Implement your plan.
This is key. Break down your monthly plan by the week and add the specific action steps to your weekly calendar. Make sure you schedule the time to do what's necessary. And when planning the following week – bring forward anything that didn't get finished. Don't be afraid to use external support to accomplish your goals. Remember – no one ever makes it alone. Reach out if you don't have the necessary resources needed to implement your plan.
7. Revisit and revise.
Create procedures that will allow you to revise your operating information on a monthly basis. Make note of what's working and what isn't. It's okay to modify your strategy and plan based on your information as long as they support what you set out to do.
2010 is poised to be a great year for growing your small/medium business. Stay focused. As you achieve your goals be sure to take time to celebrate every success, big and small. With each celebration your confidence and commitment will grow making it easier to reach your ambitious goals.
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