It’s officially that time of year. You know what I mean. It’s that time when we are focused on sprinting to achieve our goals for the remainder of the year, while simultaneously needing to slow down and focus on strategic activities, like goal setting and budgeting for the coming year.
This may sound contradictory, but in the world of business ownership, these both compete for the top priority on the list. While I don’t have a magical formula for balancing two competing and critical priorities, I will pass along the words of wisdom that my father has often given to me; “just get it done!”
For most of us, the “sprint” comes more naturally than slowing down to prepare for the new year. With that in mind, I’d like to pass along a few tactics that I personally employ. These are not high-brow or fancy techniques that you would find in a Harvard classroom, but rather basic tactics I rely on because they have proven to be helpful.
- Build your goals for the business before you build your budget (GOST process).
- Ensure that your business goals for 2021 are in line with where you want the business to be three to five years from now.
- Your business goals for 2021 should include more than just financial goals. Financial performance should most often be used as the indicator of whether you’re achieving your business goals.
- Once you have defined the business goals for the year, work backwards to determine the critical activities/components needed to achieve these goals. For example, the following items may be needed to hit growth goals:
- Create a new production manager position.
- Add two new maintenance crews and add two new trucks and trailers.
- Fully train one employee to become a turf care specialist and help them secure the necessary certification requirements.
- Fully implement GGPro into the business
- Acquire five new commercial customers and 50 new residential customers.
- Assign a timeline to each of the activities/components and assemble this into a basic operating plan for the year.
- Build your financial budget and ensure that you are focused on the growth of profit percentages as well as sales growth. Think of your budget as a working map to help you achieve your business goals.
- Finally, test your plans for 2021 to ensure they make sense.
- Look at basic ratios for profitability and expenses as a percentage of revenue vs. historical performance. Review any other important key performance indicators related to operational and financial performance.
- Verify that any new investments into the business in 2021 will produce profits in excess of your investment in the coming years.
- Ask your FBC to review your plans.
The Grounds Guys