Well, here we are, day 1 of FY2020 … Happy SOFY!

Around 5 years ago, not long after launching businessDEPOT, we detailed our 2020 plan. 2020 was a thing and it had a good ring to it. We haven’t achieved our 2020 plans yet and even though we have 12 months to go, we are unlikely to achieve everything we set out to. Plans change and things get in the way.

As the sun rises on another financial year, it is a good time to ask yourself, ‘how did we go with our 2020 plan?’

Depending on your answer, I have some tips for you.

i didn’t have a 2020 plan

Every business owner needs to find a style of business planning that works for them, their team and their business. Not everyone will have specifically set out a 2020 plan, and that is ok, but only if you had some other plan in place.

Many businesses still do not have a plan. Some have a great vision, a great idea or a really strong purpose. But, without a plan setting out how you are going to achieve it, you will struggle to turn your strategy into reality.

At the most basic level, business planning is about now, where and how [often we also add in why].

  • Where are we NOW?
  • WHERE do want to be?
  • HOW are we going to get there?
  • WHY do you do what you do?

Don’t overcomplicate your business planning process. It is not about producing a giant document setting out every possible consideration, every possible hurdle or every possible scenario. It is all about the process.

Need to put a plan in place? Irrespective of whether it is for 2020, 2022 or 2025, everything you need to know about business planning is all in this article.

Maybe you’d prefer some face-to-face, one-on-one time to pull together your business plan;

i have already achieved it

Well done and congratulations!

I would suggest reflecting on both your planning process and implementation steps – seems whatever you did has been effective! Take note of what has worked for you so you can repeat it over and over again with every strategy or plan you put in place.

To challenge you though, were your goals too soft? Did you set yourself easy targets?  Were they stretch goals?

It is easy to set targets that are similar to what you did last year, such as + 5% or similar. Before setting your next milestone goals [whatever period you are working to] get your team involved and really ask yourself, ‘what if?’

Often we will help business owners put in place budgets and targets.

  • Budgets = expected performance
  • Targets = stretch performance

Get your team involved, challenge your assumptions and push yourself to make real changes that could create real opportunities for a quantum shift in performance.

if i have a good year, i could do it

Planning is about the steps in the process. Don’t lose focus on the final hurdle. All your hard work in recent years can set you up for exponential growth this year.

Now’s the time to get detailed without losing sight of the goals to be achieved by 30 June 2020. We would suggest:

  1. Prepare a detailed budget for the year ahead [time to get into the nitty-gritty numbers]
  2. Break the strategy down into waves and cycles [I like working on quarters]
  3. Include non-financial KPI’s [especially lead indicators]
  4. Engage with the team [they can be the ones that actually make it happen for you]
  5. Form project teams to focus on critical initiatives [you cannot do it all yourself]

If you need a hand pulling the pieces of your detailed plans into place, reach out, we would love to help.

i have buckley’s chance of achieving it

No one likes to fall short of achieving their goals – try not to beat yourself up over it. The personal element of business planning can really come into play if the leader of the business loses their motivation, and not in a good way.

Maybe it’s time for an autopsy of why you haven’t achieved your 2020 goals?

  • Were your goals unrealistic?
  • Did you fail at implementation?
  • Was there some sort of external event that got in the way?
  • Were your team never really ever onboard?
  • Are their issues with the fundamentals of your business model?

A great way to consider what has worked and what hasn’t worked is to get the team together and do a good, bad, ugly workshop.

Or reach out and we can help undertake a business review or workshop the situation with you and/or your team.

Business can be draining for those behind it. If you are feeling stuck, exhausted and don’t even have the headspace to think about it, then it’s time for a deeper discussion. Maybe your overall business model is flawed or maybe you just need a tweak – either way, if you don’t have clarity and motivation of your goals, it will be near impossible for the team to help you. If this is you, take yourself out of your comfort zone and give yourself permission to take the time to reflect.

what’s next?

Now that we are here in 2020 [financial year that is], set yourself the next set of goals. I’ve found that it is one thing to set a longer-term goal, but it is another to put in place the steps you need to undertake to get there.

try the following:

  • Work out the CSF’s [Critical Success Factors] for you and your business
  • Make sure these are a mixture of financial and non-financial
  • Start by setting out at least what your business will look like in 5 years time [2025 FY]
  • Work backward to now, by completing the columns between now and then.
  • Include columns for now, this quarter, this year and then every year in between

Yes, planning for me seems to work better in financial years – maybe this is just because I was originally an Accountant, but I like how it aligns with our financial reports.

Need a hand? Feel free to reach out – I would love to help.