I have been testing a simplified tool for moving business forward fast and it is working very well. I use it and all of my clients are using this. It is easy to describe and free.
This tool is linked to the business evaluation and resulting business planning process that are the front end steps of every coaching and consulting client. In summary we arrive at a very clear definition of the client’s business and target market. Now if your reaction to that first step is that everyone in business knows the definition of their business and target market, then next time you have a chance ask them and ask them to explain it in less than 30 seconds.
That one exercise usually takes most people between 2 and 8 hours to master and some actually never get it as they really cannot decide what business they are in. There are clients where I have had to define their business, target market and business goals otherwise we would not have been able to move forward. Regarding business goals, I am mostly interested in measurable goals starting with financial performance and liquidity optimization. Once there is agreement on the financial targets then we can move to the next steps which are designed to define the key actions that are needed to achieve the financial goals.
The end game of all this is the tool that is the topic of this article. Using a Google Doc which can be shared, a Top 5 doc is created. The top part is labeled “Todays Date Top 5″ This list the five most important things that need to be accomplished today in order to achieve the financial target. The profit goals you have set this year are met or not by what you act on today. Those five action steps should be ones directed on completing profitable transactions that will achieve your profit plan.
I have been using the Top 5 System for about 2 months now and having all my clients implement it as the results are so powerful. There are two reasons for these successes: First the Top 5 System means you are focused on precisely what is most important. Second I am now implementing an accountability process where each client is required to share their top five with a person they are working with who could be their business partner, spouse or another in the business. They are also required to share their daily Top Five with me while the coaching or consulting engagement is active.
The following video demonstrated the basics of getting started. The video starts right in at the screed for setting up a Google Gmail account. The start page can be found at mail.google.com
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About: Steve Pohlit is a CPA,MBA and has been the CFO of several major domestic and international companies. Steve is The Managing Director of Top 1 Coaching/Consulting of The JT Foxx Organization. He is an expert business coach and consultant focused on building massive business profits and net asset value. He is very experienced with Internet marketing and social media marketing. All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.
Recommending a business plans is often a starting point for many advisors and consultants. The challenge is that there are nearly as many recommendations on how to do a plan as their are advisors and consultants.
The single biggest issue with planning is the horizon. Many suggest a 3-5 year plan. If and when that gets done, the plan sits on the shelf in most cases.
I developed my consulting program specifically for the purpose of guiding companies on how to achieve extraordinary revenue and profit growth in a short period of time. Clients are taught to think in 12 month chunks and then roll that back to what has to be done this week to achieve it.
When you bring your targets, to what has to happen today, this week, this month that are required to achieve the 12 month goal and hold people accountable for achieving those interim results, amazing things happen.
In the process of doing this, a company must address what could derail the results. So the point of considering disasters is addressed, but you get there from a different direction. In my experience the top two potential disasters are sudden loss of a key person where there has been little or no backup planning and a company relying a great deal on one or a small number of customers for most of their business.
Most of the time companies need to think in terms of how what is being accomplished today moves them closer to the goals they have established for twelve months out. In fact most of my work has been to show companies how to install and implement this discipline along with supporting processes of accountability.
There are some situations when longer term planning is required. These include companies where capital spending for equipment and possibly additional facilities is important. For the majority of businesses, negotiating financing or buying a company will require three to five year plans. Lenders will insist on it. While on that topic, there is always money for a good deal…always.
Most of the time a business plan should be what you are intending for all in the business to be accomplishing in a reasonalbe time period. Again I usually think in terms of about a year and that year is always rolling. There must be some provision in the case of a sudden loss that would have a major impact.
As for the plan itself, I have found most companies do not challenge themselves to achieve their potential. Often the discussion is along the lines of “well our growth rate this year will be about 5% because that is what we seem to be able to do in times like this” I always ask the what if questions. What if the revenue and profit target was a growth rate of 30% in the next 90 days? How would you do that?
It is interesting what happens when you start asking for ideas…you get them.
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