Over half-way through 2020 and you may be wondering, ‘what next?’. Your business may be thriving, in a holding pattern or barely surviving. Your answer to ‘what next?’ is in part down to your circumstances but also your mindset, your attitude to risk and your re-assessment of your future exit goals.
It would be understandable for some business owners to be feeling apprehensive, however many are contemplating a more positive second half to the year and looking at opportunities to refresh, rebuild or even expand into a new business entirely.
For many companies the past few months have brought into focus the vulnerability of face-to-face and project-based revenues. One client we are working with has taken the opportunity to accelerate its strategic plan to introduce an online subscription service to complement its traditional consultancy-based services. Another client we are advising has used the challenges this year to bring on the development of its management team and view a multi-site business as more of an integrated entity.
The good news is that 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, into 2021 and the years beyond.
If 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) the following simple exercises are ideal to help you to clarify your business priorities and identify key areas for improvement over the short and medium-term. Best of all, collectively 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.
At Henchards, we regularly go through this process of reconfirming what we want to focus on and identifying achievable actions ourselves and with our clients – we know it works in planning their exit.
To assess your business exit 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 exit 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.