New year, new plan, new approach

The festive season is now well and truly over and perhaps you took some time over the break to think about where your business is heading in 2018.

If you’re like me you probably came back to the office refreshed and ready to start implementing all of those great ideas you came up with. Then the harsh reality sets in. The emails start to flow and the phone is ringing and the day to day manages to take over your attention and you wonder how you will find time to make these things happen.

There’s three words you need to focus on - planning, planning & planning. OK, that’s only one word but it is so critical to the success of any business that I think it needs to be said three times (kind of like ‘location, location, location’ in real estate)!

That’s great I hear you say but how does it solve the problem of not enough time. Put simply, if you’re serious about making changes and implementing new ideas then it has to start with a commitment to putting time aside to focus on forward planning. Here’s how we do it with our clients at Halifax Advisory;

  • Pick a date and lock it in. Treat it like a meeting with your biggest and most important client that you would never dare reschedule.

  • Get out of the office. It’s too easy to be distracted by an urgent phone call, a client who just dropped in or to sneak off to check your emails.

  • Ensure everyone who is attending understands why they are participating and give them adequate time to think about what they can contribute to the session.

  • Prepare a clear agenda for the meeting and ensure that the time allowed for each topic of discussion is realistic. Once the meeting starts make sure you stick to the plan.

  • Commit all ideas and plans to writing. How many great ideas have you carried around in your head only to forget what they were a few days (or even hours) later. It doesn’t count unless it’ in black and white.

  • Develop action plans, allocate responsibility, a clear time frame and if required a budget for each item you decide to implement.

  • Work hard to make it happen. Don’t file the plan in the bottom drawer and put time aside each week to focus on the tasks required to fulfil the plan.

Sounds simple but you would be surprised how often it doesn’t happen or the process starts and then quickly loses momentum. Why? It all comes down to the problem we first started with – not enough time. That, and not having someone to hold you accountable to the task and remind you just how important it is.

All the best intentions in the world will ultimately amount to nothing without commitment and accountability. That’s why we work closely with our clients all the way through the process from running the planning session, developing the action plans and making sure they stick with them through regular accountability meetings. We’ll even roll up our sleeves and get involved in the implementation where we can.

So are you ready for a new year, a new plan and a new approach?


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