Why taking time to strategise can be the most important part of your year
Most business owners spend more time planning their holidays than they ever do planning their business.
This is what I have observed over years of working with small business owners. When I drop it into a conversation with a business owner, it’s rare that I get an argument. We know this to be true, yet so few do anything about it.
I am a Chartered Accountant by training, and I worked in a public accounting firm in the United Kingdom for almost 10 years. We used to offer a range of business advisory services to clients, one of which was a planning session. We would set aside a day to sit with the client and work through a range of financial scenarios; choose one of those scenarios; lock it away as the plan; then develop an action plan to achieve the plan. Every client I have ever worked with in such a session has found it to be incredibly valuable. Yet not one single client ever proactively approached me to run a planning session with them. It’s typically not on a small business owner’s radar.
In my business, we block out a day per quarter just to focus on the business. We run the business 90 days at a time. In our planning time, we review the previous quarter; take stock of what didn’t work so well and figure out why; understand what is working well and decide if we can do more of it; and then set our top five projects and key performance indicators for the next 90 days. Every single person in the business then has their own specific accountability outlining how they will contribute to the business goals. Effectively, we have systematised the planning process, and it works exceptionally well.