Working hard without a plan will get you nowhere. In order to best utilise your time, money, and energy, you will need to decide
- What to do
- How to best go about achieving it.
Whether it’s hiring additional staff, opening a new branch or reducing your number of Work hours, you need a plan to guide you through each step of the process.
Of course, it’s easier to talk about making a plan than to actually create one. One of the first issues you’ll encounter is determining how to prioritise certain tasks. Understanding what elements you can and can’t control is a good starting point. From there you can divide your plan into three categories:
- Would like to’s
By categorizing your priorities this way, you’ll have a better understanding of what is important, as well as the best way to approach it.Let’s look at these categories in more detail, helping you to differentiate immediate needs from short- and long-term goals.
“Needs” refer to what you’re business cannot survive without such as paying the bills, obtaining product, maintaining a monthly profit. A “need” should always be your first priority, and the goals you set for yourself should not jeopardize meeting these needs.
For example, you may want to delegate some of your daily tasks to other employees to free up your time to perform other duties. Before hiring somebody for the job, you need to make absolutely sure that they are capable of adequately performing and meeting the obligations of the business! A bad hire can be an expensive mistake, especially if they are in a management role. If hiring an extra person to fulfil a “want” puts meeting a “need” in danger, you might just have to endure the workload a little bit longer.
This represents what you want to achieve either a business or personal goal. For example, you might want to boost your annual sales by 25%, or take a holiday at the end of the quarter. “Wants” are a great way to chart your course in the short term, and can be of great use in motivating both yourself and your team to raise the bar. However, it’s important to remember that a want isn’t necessarily a priority for you, nor will it provide the kind of long-term vision that is required for you to attain true success.
Would Like To’s:
“Would like tos” will ultimately be your guiding force in the long run, and ideally your “wants” and “needs” will align with what it is that you hope to achieve.
If your “needs” are barely being met, then you won’t be able to satisfy your “wants” or achieve your “would like tos.” Don’t just meet your needs – beat them.
Instead of breaking even, reach for a 20% profit by the end of the year. Then, use those profits to expand your business, attracting more clients and perpetuating a virtuous cycle of self-propelled growth!
Each one of these three types of priorities have their own important role within your growth plan. Keeping them in harmony with each other is a crucial underpinning in successful businesses everywhere. If you understand how to balance these priorities when creating and executing your plans, you’ll be amazed at how much more smoothly everything runs.
Quarterly Planning & Goal Setting Workshop
If you have goals you want to achieve over the next quarter, our next ActionCOACH Quarterly Planning & Goal Setting Workshop takes place on July 13th. For full details on this full day workshop and to book your ticket click here.