A Quick Business Planning Process

Oct 17, 2013, Written by Sue Miley


I was cleaning up the piles in my office.  Don’t judge me.  They, the piles, are way better since I went mostly paperless due to awesome apps and Apple technology.  Anyway, I was cleaning up the very few piles I had and I came across a goal setting book I had worked on 3 years ago.  It was one that Seth Godin was promoting based on Zig Ziglar’s goal achievement methodology.

Just like old picture albums, I stopped what I was doing to sit down and flip through the book.  I was so excited to look back and have 3 of the 4 main goals, I had set, achieved.

I know that I didn’t track the goals all the way through that year because the end of the book is blank.  (True confessions…) But, I spent a lot of time setting them and developing the plans to achieve them.  The tracking is hard because back then, it was only me.

We have grown since then, so we track better now!

The Positives of Goal Setting and Planning

There are a few positive thoughts that came from my reminiscing over my old goal book:

  • Yayyyy…I achieved most of them!
  • Just setting the goal makes a huge difference in my overall performance.  Thinking through what I wanted to achieve and prioritizing a few key goals made them top of mind and they stayed there.
  • Tracking is important for many reasons.  One is that you feel really great when you achieve them!  Plus the information you review may give insight into what is working and what isn’t.  You may need to tweak your plans and adjust.  If you aren’t tracking, you may continue down a path that isn’t working.
  • Setting specific plans to achieve your goals is paramount to the planning process.  As I reviewed my notes, the goals with the most detailed plans resulted in the best outcomes.  Just randomly setting a goal, without a plan to accomplish it, is much less effective.

The process has changed for me over the years, but the end of the year is the time I begin thinking about finishing strong and starting out the new year right.

A Business Planning Process

I am currently working with our clients to end their year strong and to map out 2014. Do you spend time at the end of the year putting plans together for your business for the coming year?  Key initiatives?  Budgets?

Here is our mini planning agenda:

  • We help facilitate clients in looking at a traditional SWOT analysis – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
  • Then we prioritize the areas to work on in the coming year and the opportunities to go after.
  • We set up a person in the company to lead each initiative.
  • They go back and create the plans that will go with that initiative.
  • These plans will be added into the next year’s budget.

That is a short version of the process.  What are your processes for planning?

Do you see the difference in your business performance when you have goals?  

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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