HAVE YOU STARTED YOUR 2021 ACTION PLAN?
What’s your game plan for 2021? 2020 has been trying to say the least. The COVID pandemic turned business on its head, making us do new things, new ways, and on a brand-new playing field.
This year showed us all that approaching business from a status quo mindset of what always worked will continue to work was a complete fallacy. Playing Monday morning quarterback caused many to simply fall out of the season. This year proved that having a game plan that’s as fluid to change as it is addressing of the here and now is imperative to thrive in today’s business world. So, again, I ask: Have you started your 2021 action plan?
It’s Not Just Having A Plan… It’s About Having The Right Plan
Few businesses likely went into 2020 without a plan. They had goals. They had strategy. They had checklists to implement one to get to the other. However, few had the wholistic plan of action to keep themselves fluid should those goals, strategies, and checklists suddenly get thrown out the window by circumstance.
Many were resilient. Fast-thinking innovation helped many survive to see another day. But, it pointed out a key flaw in our planning mindset. An action plan isn’t just steps to take to get you from point A to point B. It’s about what actions to take to ensure you never find yourself unable to act… unable to step forward.
Creating Your Right Action Plan
So, the big question here is how do you keep your plan fluid to keep you fluid? How do you make plans to prevent yourself from being cornered on the game board with zero moves to make? Let’s look at some key elements in creating that solid, sustainable, and fluid plan to success.
1. Live For Today… Prepare For Tomorrow
Consider both your current and future settings, not just the specific place you stand today. Let innovation be your compass. Don’t set up a barricade around the permitter of your comfort zone. That’s what traps you into an unmovable space, and it leaves you thinking you’re only capable of M, N, O, P when there’s an entire alphabet of opportunity before and after the ‘it’ of what you’re doing this very moment.
2. Become A Survivalist
All businesses should have a business survival plan to account for when the flow of business becomes a trickle or the tap gets temporarily shut down. The key to my business surviving this and several other downturns has been using resilience moves as learning tools. So, use the info you’ve gathered from 2020 to fortify the future of your business.
List the vendor and client flow sources critical to your business. Where are the potential leaks? How can you reroute if one source gets turned off? Know the where, how, who, when, and what of your best contingencies.
Remember, you’re still standing today for a reason; don’t dismiss that as a powerful asset to ensure you’re still able to stand tomorrow.
3. Balance Your People To Profit Strategies
Successful business is the marriage of two strategies – profit strategy and people strategy. If either fail to do their part, then your business is destined to a divorce from success.
Most of us have that profit strategy down, but where we drop the ball is in having a solid people strategy to go alongside it. It’s quite obvious to clients when they’re working with someone who truly has a passion for the service being provided and a deep-seeded need to ensure clients are truly satisfied with those services.
Look at where an action is profitable, but examine if it adds value to your customer satisfaction scenario. If not, then scrap the move for one better aligned with the value proposition you’re offering to your clients.
4. Create And Celebrate Your Successes
It’s up to you to create your own successes. The adage of build it and they’ll come is gone with the wind. Your action plan must have measurable milestones and a fundamental, doable path to get there.
Again, don’t forget to keep it fluid and leave yourself an alternative.
Review, adjust, and learn form each win and loss, and don’t be afraid to apologize for what doesn’t work and celebrate what did work. Your clients are part of both, and the best thing you can do is honestly recognize how each of your actions have and will impact them.
In closing, I’m thankful for this industry and the amazing people within it alongside me. We’ve weathered a lot over the past few months, and our businesses and clients deserve the best chance at a successful 2021. Having a comprehensive action plan will be invaluable in achieving that end result!