How To Rock Your 2021 Business Plan

The anxiety and angst of 2020 are behind us. It was a year that left its mark on thousands of businesses everywhere.

Due to the pandemic, many companies adjusted their business strategies, readjusted, and then readjusted again.

Those with strong operational foundations were able to survive. They were able to adjust to the ebb and flow of the marketplace.

Some even thrived and made significant growth in sales and revenue. Others were not so fortunate and were forced to trim production and staff.

As the COVID economy continues, business owners must continue to adjust and add to their strategic processes. This includes analysis, evaluation, and development of a plan that establishes proper direction and the discipline necessary to sail through the headwinds that will surely be faced throughout 2021.

Case in point. I was a member of the 1988 USVI Olympic Sailing Team. We sailed out of the US Sailing Center in Coconut Grove, Florida. When we raced, the course was set up in a triangle. That means no matter which way the wind was blowing you needed to make your sailboat move rapidly and maintain speed.

The course required you to fight hard to sustain momentum and watch out for other boats. You could not let a competitor literally “take the wind out of your sails.”

The race included a high level of strategy. Sails had to be set precisely to make the upcoming 300-degree turn without losing velocity. It was an all-out effort to cross the finish line ahead of the competition.

Your business plan should do the same. That is formulating a strategy that enables your company to maintain pace and is actually designed to win the race in the new year.

One example of a winning plan is the popular Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS®), used by thousands of businesses nationwide and worth echoing here. Like the EOS® plan, your strategy should focus on six key areas.

These include…

A solid vision. One where everyone in the organization is on the same page and rowing, if you will, in the same direction. The entire team must understand the direction of the business and how you are going to get there. Great progress can be made when employees have a clear vision of where they are headed and then spend the bulk of their time aligned with it.

Great people. Business owners need to surround themselves with excellent people from top to bottom. A great vision cannot be accomplished without a great team. Many business owners struggle in this area but the best companies have a strong group supporting them.

Data and metrics. Management must cut through all the personalities, feelings, opinion,s and egos. Instead, a plan should be boiled down to a handful of objective numbers. This gives you an absolute pulse on where things are at any given time. These data points will help the team focus, engage and work toward your vision.

Issue resolvement. Issues can hold a company back. Most are solvable but left unresolved can turn a thoroughbred into a slow-moving mule. These issues should be addressed at their root cause. When properly addressed they can be eliminated and/or their impact substantially reduced.

Processes. Companies have various business processes. Some are better than others and maybe different for every employee. Management needs to document what these processes are and then simplify them to ensure they are followed by everyone in the organization.

Traction. Once companies enact these processes they hit a point in an implementation where they are making great progress, never before imaginable. By identifying their top priorities, taking the time weekly to work through them, and holding each other accountable, they are able to grow farther and faster.

The creation of the right strategic plan, with the proper processes for implementation, measurement, and accountability, will enable business owners to crush their numbers and rock their business plan in 2021.

Bruce Sheridan is a professional EOS® implementer and operates Organizational Compass in St. Louis. His background includes working for a variety of companies including Fortune 100 corporations. He has worked with domestic and international business models. He has been part of revenue enhancements, efficiency innovations, and productivity improvements that have delivered significant returns worth many times their investment. He has earned a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, a patent, awards, and literally wrote a book on business strategy. He applies the EOS model to help entrepreneurs get the life they imagined. He works with business leaders to make order out of chaos and helps cut through the confusing, overwhelming, and ineffective junk keeping small business leaders from truly achieving their vision.


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