In any business planning is important – but while some business owners set goals, they don’t always translate those into specific activities.

Creating goals is only the first step in achieving success.  You can’t ‘do’ a goal – it’s a result not an activity.  Every goal requires action and big goals may have a few milestones along the way to achieve first.  That means a lot of planning.

It’s easy to say ‘as long as I know what my goal is and stay focused, I’ll get there’,  That’s a bit like saying ‘as long as I know what this cake will look like when it’s cooked, I can guess at the ingredients and the cake will be perfect’.

OK, if you’re Mary Berry, you may be right, but we need to know what tools/ingredients are required, what process needs to be followed, in which order and how long it takes to bake.  Achieving any goal is no different.

Here’s my system.

  • Write down all your goals
  • Prioritise them so you know which ones are the most important
  • Turn each goal into a ‘to do’ list, be specific and detailed – every phone call, every piece of information needed.
  • Put the tasks into your schedule and do them when they come up.

If there are other people involved, get them to contribute to the list generation and put tasks into their diaries too.  Make sure someone (you?) is managing the plan – so things don’t get off-track.  Remind people of deadlines so the plan stays on schedule.

Apply this to all areas of the business

As a great deal of what we do is around content generation, I’m always astonished when people ask us to write a website or some blogs, but when we ask the question “Why do you need this content?” the answers are anything but specific.  We get:

“Our website needs updating,” but no reason why or what the new focus is or what the target for it is.

“We need to publish blogs,” good idea, but it needs some kind of rationale behind it.  Who are you trying to influence?  What are they looking for?  How can you help them?

“We need to be visible on social media,” an excellent plan, but which social platforms, what kind of material and what do you want people to do when they read your posts?

  • Why are you doing this?
  • Who is it for?
  • Where do they hang out?
  • What kind of material are they looking for?
  • When are they active?
  • Which criteria will you measure to know what is working?
  • How will you convert them from ‘interested’ to ‘purchasers’?

When it comes to content it’s just as important to have a sound strategy with the activities that support it.