Dream Big, Plan Small and Grow in 2017

Dream Big, Plan Small and Grow in 2017

SEO Strategy 2017It is the start of a brand-new year and while a few may still be enjoying a well-deserved break, many of us are back at work or at the helm of our business.

By this stage, most of you have likely taken some time to strategise and plan for 2017, but for those of you have not got around to it yet, I thought I’d offer a few tips to help get you going. These are not going to be “7 Essential Components to Effective Planning” type tips, but rather broad strokes taken from the approach I took this year. Of course, if you own a good book on the topic, you should refer to it.

IM Applied SEO Strategy Session Cape TownEnvironment

My environment plays a major role when it comes to creativity. While this may not be true for everyone, I find that because my office is the place I spend time working in my business, it is difficult for me to switch off from the tasks competing for my attention.

I recommend that you find a space where you are removed from your working environment and all the distractions that go along with it. For me, that space was under the trees up on a mountain, close to a dam with no cell phone coverage. I packed in a picnic blanket, some yummies to eat, plenty to drink and said ‘goodbye’ to the real world back at the office.

How Much Time To Set Aside

This is very subjective and will vary greatly from one business to another. For some businesses, there are just far more complexities than others. I would recommend that you set out a full day at least.  Anything less than this will keep you watching the time and can force you to cut your planning short, which is the best way to get the least out of this exercise. If you find that you’re done before the day ends, you obviously have the freedom to go back to your office, but this should happen because you are ready to implement your strategy, not because you have to get back for something.

If you have a business that requires a few days to get through strategising and planning for the year, I suggest that, if possible, you stay over somewhere for that time.

Reflect

A good place to start your strategy and planning session is to reflect on 2016. Think about what worked well, the challenges you experienced and the successes you enjoyed. Were there lessons you learned that could aid your growth this year or help you avoid some pitfalls? Can you identify areas where you might have grown faster if you had certain resources in place. What processes and actions would be good to emulate going forward and what should be discarded?

Take your time reflecting. The more detail you identify here, the better you will be equipped for the year ahead.

Dream BigDream1

Do you remember when you were a young child and you would say, “One day when I grow up…”. As a young child when you dreamed about what you could be or do, there were no limitations. This is the way I dream about my business. If there were no limiting factors, then one day when my business grows up… This is not a 2017 dream, this is a ‘one day’ dream.

Think about what your business will look like and what it will represent. How will it be perceived? Would you like to be a boutique business or a large corporation, or something somewhere in between? There are no right or wrong answers here. This is your dream.

Consider who your client base will be, what type of income your company will produce, what your staff compliment will look like, the products and/or services you will offer, the type of marketing you will do… You get the picture. Dream big! No one ever achieves more than they dream.

Back to 2017

Now that you have a detailed picture of what your business will ideally look like one day, it is time to decide where 2017 fits into this dream. For instance, if your ideal business has 20 staff members performing various functions, and you currently have 2 staff members, how much staff can you add in 2017 and what resources as pertains to office space, salaries, sales, etc. would you need to have in place to achieve this goal? Also, what value will these additional staff members allow you to realise in your business in 2017?

It goes without saying, but as you strategise and plan for 2017, plan for growth and make sure that your planning helps to move your business in the direction of your Big Dream.

PlannerPlan Small

Now don’t misunderstand me here. I don’t mean that you must plan for small growth or hardly plan at all, but rather that you should plan in detail. You know what you would like to achieve in 2017, but until you can break it down into actionable steps, it will always just be a dream. To attain it, you need to have a specific plan of action that you and your staff can execute.

Write out a road map of how to get from where you are now to the goals you have set for 2017. Mark the big events or milestones on a calendar and create a weekly planner that clearly shows what needs to be done. Create timeframes for various actions and checklists so that you can stay on track with your progress. This will take some effort from your side, but if you can do this well, you will be well on your way to achieving big things in 2017.

Go for a Swim

Now that you have completed your strategy and planning session, you can go back to the office or go for a swim. Wondering what I did?

Swim

The water was refreshing.

I will leave you with this encouragement. 2017 Has started and will be gone in a little over 11 months from now. You have no control over that. You do, however, have a good amount of control over the way you will experience it. Since you’re in it anyway, you may as well make it a great year.