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Half-way through the year, is your business plan on track?

Unbroken sunshine, daily heatwave warnings, England securing their place in the last 16 with barely a bitten nail in sight – it’s been an unusual midsummer, and one to enjoy. But you might also be looking at the wall calendar and thinking, ‘Where has 2018 gone already?’

If you find yourself facing July with a hint of disbelief, you’re not alone. For many business owners, the first half of the year rushes by in a flurry of activity, leaving them little time for all that virtuous strategic planning they had in mind. The good news is, it’s never too late in the year to revisit, review and refresh your plans. In fact, now is a great time to reflect on the year so far, assess progress and identify priorities for the second half of the year.

Two quick ways to identify your priorities for the rest of 2018

Assuming that you don’t need a major strategic overhaul; rather, you want to keep up momentum and focus your time and energy on the areas that matter most, these simple exercises are ideal to help you to clarify your business priorities and identify key areas for improvement over the coming six months. Best of all, they’ll take just 30 minutes of your time.

Exercise 1. Find three areas of the business where you can make a 10% improvement. Don’t go for high-level financial goals like increasing revenue by 10%; instead, focus on tangible, easily accessible improvements, such as increasing prices by 10%, making a courtesy call to 10% of your clients or spending 10% more time coaching your people. These small enhancements can make a big difference to business performance.

Exercise 2. Review what’s gone well (and what’s not). If you want to build on your successes, you first need to clarify what those successes are. To do this, divide a page into three sections. In the first, list things that have gone well over the past year; in the second, list things that haven’t quite gone to plan; and in the third, translate each item into an action point that will get you doing more of the stuff that works and improving or avoiding the not-so-successful areas.

Both techniques can be repeated throughout the year to refresh your priorities whenever necessary. You might also like to try these exercises with your team, so they can identify their individual priorities and areas of focus for the coming months.

Your personalised business review

At Henchards, we regularly go through this process of reconfirming what we want to focus on and identifying achievable actions, so we know it works. We also regularly use these planning tools with our clients to review their strategy.

To assess your business plan and priorities, book a strategic planning session with Henchards. This session is ideal for owners of established businesses who are looking to refresh and reconfirm their strategy. Together, we’ll work through a 10-step business review, determine your objectives and clarify your priorities, giving you a clear action plan to implement in your business.

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We’ve written a number of guides on selected business subjects that will set you and your business in good stead for whatever future you may choose.

These are free for you to download and to make use of in your business, so please help yourself.