Okay, so I missed a week. Hopefully the extra time gave you the ability to refine and review your vision. This week we are going to work on the actual plan. Now that you have your Vision and Mission, you can work on your goals and objectives. From there you can give yourself timelines to complete those goals and objectives. Be careful not to set timelines that are unrealistic. Make sure that you give yourself enough time to get things done!
The Plan Goals: A goal is a specific target, end result or something to be desired. It is a place where you want your company to be. A goal is a broad primary outcome. Goals are important because you have to know what you are aiming to achieve. For the purpose of the Thinking Plan, I would suggest you set goals that are achievable in 0-3 years.
Go back to your top five problems and top five best things about your business and build goals around those things. The goals should identify the areas that need to be improved. If your biggest problem is that you lack cash flow, then it is a financial issue. You can choose multiple areas. For problems, make sure that you describe in each section, what needs to be improved. Therefore, if your problem is lack of cash flow, then your goal would be to improve cash flow.
If the best thing about your company is great customer service, then it is a management or marketing issue. Use this area to state the things that you will improve upon. Your goal in this area may be 100% customer satisfaction or improving the customer service experience. The point of this section is to make sure that you do not lose sight of what makes your company great and that will allow you to continue the things that are working well in your business.
Objectives: An objective is a tool used to achieve goals. It is used to attain or accomplish a specific purpose or target. It is specific and measurable. In some cases, these two things are separated, but for the Thinking Plan they will be combined. For this purpose, you must be S.M.A.R.T. Your objectives should be Specific, Measurable, Action-Oriented, Realistic, and Time specific. Your objective should not be to change the world in 90 days. It should be something that is detailed enough to know if you achieved it. So for each problem and best thing, you should put in a S.M.A.R.T. objective.
Now that you have created your goals and objectives, you need to look at each and determine who is going to be responsible for overseeing each area. Do you need to hire a professional? Do you have an employee that can be assigned a task? How are you going to be accountable to your timeline?
Your Thinking plan should be in line with your Position, Vision and Mission. If anything that you have listed in your goals and objective are not directly or indirectly related, you should consider removing it from your list.
Shahara Wright is an experienced and highly sought after business law attorney and business strategist. She is the author of From Entrepreneur to CEO and host of the CEO Collaboration Circle. Shahara founded The CEO Effect, LLC to work with small business owners who want to implement strategy to build capacity.