Look ahead to 2024: Your team needs a roadmap
Growth requires systematic planning and goal setting.
Are you ready for 2024? How have you prepared? Is it written down?
I often use this analogy when talking about business planning.
When was the last time you took a vacation?
That’s right, as a business owner you never get a vacation — that’s another problem for another day.
For now, let’s stay focused on the task at hand. Let’s say you’ve decided it’s time for that long overdue vacation. First things first, where are you going? Then it all starts to fall into place. What’s the budget? When can you go? How long will you be gone? That’s a lot of decisions that have the made ahead of time.
The funny thing is most people do this every year. There are entire businesses built around planning our lives for a few weeks a year. The crazy thing is many of us never spend a fraction of the time planning the future of our business as we do planning for our vacations.
Where are you going?
If you don’t know where you are going, how can you expect to get there. If you’ve read “Built to Last” by Jim Collins, then you’ve heard of his Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) concept. If you don’t have one, you should. If you’ve read “Traction” by Gino Wickman, then you’ve heard of his ten-year target, three-year picture and one-year plan. Let’s not reinvent the wheel. These concepts are designed to help us have a better understanding of where we are going.
The process of documenting goals serves as a powerful catalyst, significantly increasing the likelihood of achieving our goals. Statically speaking you increase the chances of achieving a goal by 33 percent just by writing them down. This transformation of dreams into written, tangible goals provides a definitive, clear and measurable trajectory for success, steering the course for organizational progress.
The Plan: Its got to be SMART
Clarity in our objectives matters. Using the SMART criteria: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound forces to write effective goals. For example, setting a goal to reduce warranty service calls by 15 percent within the first quarter of 2024 gives us a specific, tangible target. Precise goals drive teams to achieve measurable milestones, enhance our operations and boosting customer satisfaction.
Building out a revenue plan for your business, teams and technicians. It’s a simple measure, it doesn’t guarantee profitability or success, but it’s the real-time speedometer for your company. Sitting down and looking toward the future related to revenue will allow you to plan your growth, and allow you to plan for new hires (both production and support), capital expenses, space requirements, and so on.
Putting together or revisiting your organization chart at least once a quarter and with every new hire ensures our teams are in the right roles for our continued success. Evaluating our team structures allows us to assign individuals where their strengths shine. Similarly, establishing financial goals based on thorough analysis and market insights sets us on a course towards specific revenue objectives, indicating our progress and success.
In short, if you haven’t already done your 2024 business planning, there is no time like the present. Set aside a day in the next two weeks. Book a local conference room, get your team together and put pen to paper. It doesn’t have to be fancy to be effective. This is the first step toward a more successful 2024.
Tracy Johnson is former president of TLC Plumbing and Heating. He has more than 30 years of experience in heating and plumbing in the Southwest. He is president of TLC Mastermind, teaching other industry leaders how to excel.
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Industry News | November 27, 2023
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