Juggling your to-do list between strategic and operational issues can become a job in itself. Once you have a clear picture of where you want to take the business and a plan as to how you will get there, it is then all about implementation.
These are our top tips to make your business goals a reality:
TIP 1: KNOW YOUR NUMBERS NOW
Building a business plan based on unreliable numbers is no different to building a house on weak foundations. You must start by truly knowing how your business is performing now. The best way to do this is to start tracking profitability by division: sales, property management, principals and admin.
TIP 2: FOCUS ON JUST A FEW CORE KPIS
It is easy to track sales, but KPIs that also reflect how efficiently you are working are so much more valuable. Pick a few KPIs to assess your current performance and track your future performance. Some of my favourites include:
- Number of sales per person per month
- Properties per FTE (full time equivalent) PM employee
- Average rate of commission (total payout to the sales team including benefits divided by total sales division income excluding principal sales).
TIP 3: BIGGER IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER
When looking to grow, it is easy to default to strategies focused on being bigger rather than better. A neat exercise I like to do is what I call ‘the perfect year’. Before even thinking about growing, calculate what profit you would make if you had a perfect year – a year when you had no abnormal events impacting results and the best historical result across the other performance metrics of the business given your current structure.
This is also a useful way to simply calculate your ‘profit potential’ based on your current business structure before taking a risk and investing in material change.
TIP 4: BEWARE OF THE DEADLY SQUIRRELS
In business, it is so easy to be distracted by the next idea, next initiative or next project. Those bright shiny objects that grab your attention and distract you can be deadly. I call them squirrels. Focus is the key to implementing your plans and realising your vision. Look ahead, but focusing on what is most important now will reap more rewards long term.
TIP 5: YOU CANNOT DO EVERYTHING AT ONCE
You need to clearly set out how you think you will achieve your goals, but it’s the steps in the path that matter most. Identify what you need to do today to achieve what will be important for tomorrow. For example, if you want to double the size of the sales team you may first need to focus on brand as an employer and start positioning you and your business as a leader within the industry. Focusing on too many things at once will result in nothing being achieved.
TIP 6: TAKE THE TEAM ON THE JOURNEY WITH YOU
Sometimes the team need to be involved from the beginning. Sometimes they just want to know what the plan is. Either way, if you are trying to change the way things are done, you are going to need to take them on the change journey with you. A team that is ready for the change and understands why this change is being implemented is critically important to the success (or not) of your plans.
Most plans fail at the implementation stage – and that is because it is hard.
Making your business goals a reality is also going to require a lot of hard work, grit and determination. Rome wasn’t built in a day – but make sure you celebrate the wins along the way too.
If you want to make your business goals a reality John Knight will be speaking at the PM Leadership Summit on 7th and 8th March.