One of the biggest problem is not knowing “What to do” but “What NOT to do”, and when you’re a business owner there are so many things that you’re responsible for. The daily decisions about what not to do define who you are and define your progress and how you move forward.
If you get your strategic or your business planning process right, most weeks days and months you spend your time doing the right things, and it gets you to your destination faster.
If you get it wrong you get sucked down into the weeds and what happens is that you aren’t working on the problems that you should.
I’ve been working with a client over the last two years and all their business leaders and I’ve taught them a really simple strategic planning process that they can use over twelve months to work out what’s important and I’m going to share it with you now.
If you don’t have clarity then you don’t know what to stop and you don’t know what to start and I help my clients get simple clarity about where they’re going in the next 12 months by through doing these four things…
The first thing is you’ve got to get really clear on who you serve and who your customer is.
I’ve done some more work before on working out who your client is in my career stuff and you’re most welcome to go and watch it, but in this video what I’m assuming is that for the next 12 months at least you’re going to pretty much be serving the same customer you already have.
Now I call that customer “Bill & Sally” because I think what I try and encourage my customers to do is to think of their of who they’re serving as real people and what do those real people want?
A guy called Taki Moore who’s a coach/marketing guru he has a framework that he uses to understand what your customers want it’s called “Fears, Frustrations, Wants, Aspirations.”
The first step in doing a strategic plan is to really think deeply about how your customer’s feeling in relation to what you provide them.
What are their frustrations in the short term?
What are their fears in the long term?
What are their wants in the short term?
and what are their aspirations in the long term?
If you can think about those four things, what will pop out is their needs and wants.
Once you’ve got their needs and wants really clear I would look, in the context of your current business model and how you’re operating with them and what you’re serving them, at finding five things that need to change in the next twelve months to serve Bill & Sally?
So give you an example:
One of my clients is a TV well known TV media organisation and one of the things that they need to do in the next 12 months is launch an Instagram channel because they realised that a lot of their customers, Bill & Sally, are now spending more time engaging with content online.
The second piece is once you’ve got clear on what those 5 things might be, what you need to do is think about then the impact of those on your customers.
The impact of these challenges if you don’t do them.
The reason we think about the impact if you don’t address them is then we know – are they really the things we need to do?
What would be the impact of NOT launching an Instagram channel? Well you’re probably not going to engage with Bill & Sally where they hang out the most. And if you’re not engaging where they’re going to hang out the most, then you’re probably not being as successful as you can as a media organisation.
So the fourth step to that is – given the five problems or challenges with your current model and the impact – What are 3-5 strategies that you’re going to use? Things you’re going to do? A strategy is essentially – What are we going to do to deliver the results to our customers in the next 12 months?
What are 3-5 things you’re going to do to address the problems and to provide greater value for Bill & Sally.
Overall this should take you half an hour max to quickly get a really clear idea of what you are going to do and what you’re not going to do in 12 months ahead.
So here’s the summary: 4 step process to doing a twelve month business plan.
Get focussed on Bill & Sally (your customer).
Fears, frustrations, wants, aspirations.
Look at your current model, what are 5 things that need to change and the impact if they don’t?
Find 3-5 strategies that you can use to better serve Bill & Sally or to fix the problems with your current model in the next 12 months.
I hope this has been useful to you, and apply that to your business.
Talk to you soon.