Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” This quote couldn’t be more true — especially in 2020. Your team needs you to strategically plan your business for the new year.

It’s time for you to take the initiative and align your plans with your desired outcome for 2021. Considering the year we’ve had, you should lead your team members with confidence now and support them all the way to success. Here are five things you should be thinking about now. 

1. Vision

In order to plan your business successfully, you need to know where you’re going. It’s important for you, as a team leader, to know what the top 1 percent life and what a top-performing team looks like to you.

When formulating a vision for your business, it’s important to factor in your team members’ dreams and goals first, then add or subtract accordingly. That way, you’ll ensure that your vision is wide enough to encompass everyone’s growth.

Quotas look down; dreams reach up. This vision will guide your everyday decisions, habits and goals. When you put pen to paper, make sure you get as detailed as possible. Try to envision yourself in this life a year from now. Get creative, and trust yourself.  

This is going to give you depth. Think of what you want your business to look like within the next few years. Try to step into that reality, and make decisions based on where you’re going, not where you currently are. 

2. Efficiency 

The second most important thing to look at when you’re planning your business is how to make your team more efficient. Luckily, as a single mom who once sold over 60 houses a year, and is now an author, speaker and the CEO of her own coaching and consulting company, I know all about refining systems, and the efficiency and mindset needed to excel.

As I’ve mentioned in my previous Inman articles, your role as a leader is to build the systems and processes that set up your team to get results. Having systems in place will allow others to deliver the standards of your business and hold your team members accountable for staying on track. 

Systems create a win-win scenario for everyone. It allows you to manage your business and guides you toward your goals, without you having to micromanage every single person on your team. When creating any system, you need to start by narrowing down your specific plans, which, in turn, will allow for a more efficient life and business in the long run.

3. Opportunities

The third step in business planning is looking at your business opportunities. You need to know all that opportunities that are coming into the business as well as the sources of those opportunities. That way, you’ll know what to focus on and expand. 

Check in on the things you’re testing to make sure they’re working properly, and cut those that aren’t. Having that insight into what’s working and what’s not is important.

4. Leverage

In this fourth step, you’ll need to determine and carve out what you love doing the most — and take away what you dislike doing. This will help create the ultimate momentum-maker: leverage.

Once you know what you love and how you’ll step into your next phase of leadership, you’ll carve out the unique values you bring to the table. This will allow you to have the space and training to attract others who will help you achieve those values and better serve your clients.

This is the key to leverage that so many business owners miss. It is not enough to get more done or to get more done without needing you. The key to successful leverage is to elevate the end experience or product for everyone involved. It’s the ultimate unfair advantage.

5. Data

Lastly, when you’re business-planning, you need to focus on tracking and data. Measured results will show a team member’s ability to successfully bring your values, standards and services to the public.

Tracking your results will help you know how to pay yourself and others, and invest in growth to run a healthy business. It’s crucial to know what business is coming from where and how much it’s costing you to create an appointment or deal.

What are your budgets, profits and losses? Having your finger on the pulse of these numbers and stats will allow you to adapt more quickly. Track how you’re spending your money, and stay in tune with how your business is doing. 

Of course, all of the different steps I’ve mentioned rely on you having robust systems and protocols that support them.

Kathleen Black is the CEO of Kathleen Black Coaching and Consulting in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. Connect with her on Instagram at @kathleenblackcoaching or through her website ItTakesa.Team.

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