Once the Goal has been clearly defined, the Objectives established and the Strategy set, build a Plan to implement the Strategy. To this point, the process has been strategic. It now becomes tactical. For example, if your Strategy is to use direct mail to reach your Objectives spelled out above, lay out the tactical steps you will take to carry out this Strategy, such as list selection, copy writing, mailing method and so on. As at every stage of this GOSPA analysis, be specific and precise. Include deadlines and performance accountability, i.e., who will be held accountable for each tactic. Remember, what gets planned gets done.
With Goals and Objectives clearly defined in the most simple, specific terms, you must now determine the Strategy you will adopt to reach the Objectives and thereby attain your Goal. For example, your Goal may be to sell 4,000 units of a particular product at a price of $100 per unit within six months. Your Objectives might be:
Month 1: 50 units sold
Month 2: 150
Month 3: 300
Month 4: 500
Month 5: 1,000
Month 6: 2,000
6-Month Total: 4,000 units sold
The question now becomes, “How will I reach these Objectives?” Will you use direct mail? Email? Will you advertise? If so, what advertising medium will you use? And so on. The best Strategy for you will meet three criteria’s:
(a) First, it will be easy to define, to understand and to execute.
(b) Second, it will be based on the skills and resources most readily available to you.
(c) Third, it will be practical, offering you the best chance of success.
In working toward a goal, you must establish clear Objectives or milestones – predetermined steps that will lead inexorably to the achievement of your goal. In essence, Objectives are like mini-goals and must meet the same SMART standards.
We help you hone your business planning skills at Mentor Club.
Clear, precise thinking – the ability to clearly identify the essential, core components of your goal – is the first prerequisite when applying the Principle of Simplification. It is for this reason that the Focal Point Advanced Coaching and Mentoring Program concentrates so heavily on gaining clarity with respect to both personal and business goals. Fuzzy, unclear goals lead to convoluted, inefficient plans. Time spent in gaining clarity before diving into the planning process is like depositing money in the bank. It can save hundreds and even thousands of hours and dollars down the road.
You will remember from an earlier session that a properly stated goal has five characteristics, summarised in the acronym SMART.
(a) Is your goal Specific? Have you stated it in its simplest and most precise terms?
(b) Is your goal Measurable? Is it stated in clear, quantifiable terms, enabling you to benchmark your progress?
(c) Is your goal Aligned with your values?
(d) Is your goal Realistic? Do you believe you can – and will – achieve it?
(e) Is your goal Time bounded? Do you have a deadline for its achievement?
A video on strategies for achieving your business goals.
When we undertake a new initiative, create a new process, design a new plan or even start a new business, we often build in safeguards – checks and balances, if you will – in an effort to reduce risks and increase the odds of success. Although our intention is honourable, such a strategy is faulty, flying in the face of the Law of Complexity: “Every additional step in a process increases the complexity of the process geometrically.”
This Law of Complexity can be shown mathematically as follows:
C = S2 where C = Possible mistakes, costs and delays and S = Number of steps
For example, if we add two steps to a process, the complexity of the processes does not double; it increases fourfold. Add seven steps and the complexity increases 49 times! In other words, in adding steps as a result of our desire to increase the odds of success, instead we have actually increased the chances of failure by enormously complicating the process. Read more…