By: Carter Williams, Director of Xperience Growth Coaching & Consulting
I have to admit that business planning is one of my most favorite things that we do in our businesses. When optimized, you take time out of the daily routines and focus on what your future looks like. Everything and anything is possible! They are no restraints except for the restraints we put on ourselves. For someone like me who lives for possibility, it’s like Christmas!
There’s a very distinct problem with planning. It’s not “doing.” Yes, setting goals, making plans are ESSENTIAL to success, yet planning alone will accomplish nothing. The only way to actually accomplish what you put down on paper is to DO. And, because most of us are high achievers, our plans are bigger than our current business. That means that we must do more, or at least different, what we’ve been doing to get those bigger results.
We must turn planning into doing.
Think about what are the key leading indicators of your business. The “leading indicators” are the steps that happen before the ultimate result that you’re going for. It’s like the first steps on a path. For example: If you’re a real estate sales agent, your goal is likely centered around homes sold & the corresponding income. Yet you don’t wake up one morning and close on a home. You must already be under contract and before you can be under contract you have to secure the client and even before that you must meet with the client. The “meeting the client” is the leading indicator to you achieving your home sales goals. Without meeting enough clients, you will not sell as many homes.
Getting back to your goals… you likely have larger goals than you’re currently doing right now. That means that you’ll need more of the leading indicator activities in 2021 than you’ve done in 2020.
This is where the business planning comes in very handy. When you figure out how much you need to increase your leading indicators to achieve your new goals, you can start working towards that NOW. So, if you run an online sales shop and you know you need 50 visits to create a sale and you have a goal of increasing from 10 sales per day to 15, what activities can you do to increase from 500 to 750 visits per day? Whatever your answer is, where you need to spend your time and energy as you’ve found is your key activities.
Bottom line, increasing the amount and effectiveness of key activities is where to focus starting now. Why now? With 2 months left before the new year?. Even if my sales cycle isn’t that long? Yes! Here’s why…
We’re in a great time of year to get a jump start because 2021 is not here yet. You’ve made business plans that fill us with anticipation. Anticipation of an event creates the same, if not better feeling, in our minds than the actual event. Think back to your last big vacation… if you’re really honest with yourself, you were just as excited about GOING on vacation before you left as you were actually BEING on vacation while you were there. Anticipation triggers dopamine (a “feel good” chemical) for long periods.
In addition to the dopamine increase during anticipation, you are in what is called a rosy prospection before an event happens. This is a phenomenon that says our positive feelings about an event are higher before the event itself. We’re actually more optimistic about something before it happens than when we’re in it.
You already know that when you feel good and are optimistic your actions or performance will be at its peak. That’s why you are in a better position to get yourself and your team into the key activities that will help them hit their 2021 goals now as opposed to starting after the new year. That anticipation for the year will help give you that extra boost to create more activity and efficiency.
Knowing about the mental effects of anticipation, it’s no wonder why I and so many people LOVE business planning. Let’s ride the wave and become the person you’re meant to be and have the business you deserve well before we ring in the new year.