The strategy of creating a space for success
One of the fundamental components of annual planning is creating a space for your success. This refers to the fact you can only have so many ‘things.’ When one thing occupies a space, something else cannot occupy that same space; this is true both literally and in the metaphoric sense of occupying (a) mental space or (b) part of your business. So, if you no longer need something, get rid of it to free up some space and you can bring something new into your business or another area of your life.
The following are some questions to ask yourself to help define the ‘space for success’ in your franchise business:
- What was great about the past year?
- What are you most proud of?
- What were you most surprised by?
- In what ways did you and your business grow?
- What was your biggest success?
- What adversity did you overcome?
- What skills did you develop?
- Which of your earlier goals did you accomplish?
- What was your most challenging sale?
- What were you consistent at?
Finding your direction
Once you have oriented yourself in your business by setting goals and making space for success, it is time to review the past year’s performance of your franchise in more specific terms. The following are some examples of questions you should ask during this evaluation:
- Based on your annual goals, where should your results be right now?
- Did you hit your predicted gross sales numbers?
- Did you hire and train your predicted number of employees for the year?
- Were you able to sufficiently motivate your team?
- Did you manage to set as many appointments with leads as you’d hoped?
- Did you call and follow up with all of your leads?
- How did you do in the area of marketing?
- How effective was your use of social media?
- Did you manage your time efficiently?
- Did your business receive any complaints and, if so, how did you handle them?
Of course, further questions should be developed that are more specific to your franchise’s industry, business model, products and/or services. And additional questions should address your non-business goals (e.g. whether or not you were able to establish a regular sleep cycle that yielded your optimal level of energy for business productivity).
Finally, you can expand on the above lists of questions to help identify new areas for strategic improvement in the future. What areas of your business—and elsewhere in your life—should be made better? These are the areas where you can achieve more of your potential in the next year.
Being prepared pays
The fact you’re considering a plan at all gives you an advantage over most people. Just as too many of them wait until December 31 to make New Year’s Resolutions—and most North Americans neglect to prepare a detailed personal budget—poor to non-existent financial planning one of the top causes of small business failures. Too many entrepreneurs who handle their own finances are prone to carry bad personal planning habits into their business.
Creating an annual financial plan, therefore, not only gives you an advantage over the competition, but will also be key to the long-term viability of your franchise.
Eric Lofholm is a master sales trainer, author, business success guru, communications expert and speaker who has presented his proprietary sales and success systems to thousands of professionals worldwide. He is founder and CEO of Eric Lofholm International, which professionally trains achievement-minded individuals and employee groups on selling. For more information, visit www.saleschampion.com.