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Start planning for 2020

 4 November 2019     Donald Cooper 

As we approach the end of 2019, now is the time to think about which areas of your business or department need clarity, focus and improvement to make next year your best year ever.

The best way to start this important process is to get real about which areas of your business or department need work. You can’t get to where you need to be if you’re unclear about where you are now.

An effective and quick way to determine where you are now is to download and use my one-page Business Key Challenge Audit Sheet that takes just four minutes to complete. It comes with complete instructions. To download it, just click here and select Tool #A-1. There is no charge.

Once you’ve determined what needs fixing, create an action plan and commit to effective implementation.  We all know that’s where so many businesses struggle. For each action item, agree on and document specifically what will be done, by whom, by when, at what cost, with what outcome, measured how and rewarded how. Then, commit to following up religiously, reward progress and deal with non-performance.

For more insight on what needs improving and how to do it, sit down with a few of the best minds and hearts and courageous truth-sayers in your business or department and invest an hour or so answering these ten simple questions. Note: the questions are simple, some of the answers will not be.

Where necessary, allocate homework and research assignments to members of the team to gather more info and more innovative thoughts.

  1. What extraordinary bottom line profit do you commit to deliver in 2020? Your profit is something you commit to and plan for…not something that you just hope for.

  2. What is your sales commitment for next year and what are the three or four most important things that you and your team need to do to achieve that 2020 sales commitment?

  3. What are three things that you do that confuse or tick off your customers? What will you commit to do to fix them so wonderfully they actually become part of your competitive advantage?

  4. What are three or four important things that any of your competitors do better than you and how will you improve and be the competitive leader in 2020?

  5. What are the five biggest expense items on which you can save some money in 2020? Specifically, how will you do that?

  6. What are four things you can do to become “greener” in 2020…and beyond?

  7. What are three or four things you can do to improve internal communication and improve clarity about your commitments to customers, to each other and to your bottom line?

  8. What improvements in marketing, promotion and advertising will you commit to in 2020 to tell our story more effectively? There’s no point being the best if you’re also the best kept secret. How will you create more customers intimacy, be more responsive to and interactive with customers and prospects?  How can you use social media more effectively to achieve this?

  9. What are the three most important new technologies that you need to bring into the business in 2020?

  10. You can’t grow the business without growing your people and your team. What training, development or mentoring does each person on your team need to help them grow?  How do you commit to grow as a leader and manager in 2020? What new talent, skills or experience must be added to your team to compete successfully in 2020 and beyond?

Add a few of your own key questions to the 10 listed above in order to get on the right track to make 2020 your best year ever. Ask each employee to come up one idea to grow or improve the business next year.  Give them a week to come up with their idea.  You’ll be amazed what some of them come up with.

TempurPedic Canada
Cocoon by Sealy
This HGO article was written by:
Donald Cooper
Donald Cooper

Donald Cooper has been both a world-class manufacturer and an award-winning retailer. Now, as a business speaker and coach he helps business owners and managers throughout the world to rethink, refocus and re-energize their business to create compelling customer value, clarity of purpose and long-term profitability.

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