CEO CORE Series: Hidden Dangers of Planning and Goal Setting

September 5, 20180 Comments

Understand the Impact of Your Existing or Non-Existing Strategy

The hidden dangers of planning and goal setting are not doing it, not taking it seriously, and not spending a minimum (for six figure+ revenue goals) of eight to 10 hours a week doing it. Honestly, coming from someone who has been an entrepreneur for over 20 years, these are the real hidden dangers. Anytime you begin to engage in a strategic process like planning and goal setting, it is a good thing, even if you’re not good at it in the beginning.

Strategy drives your overall business direction but it also directly impacts your overall business operations. If you’re not able to sit down in a designated space and map out strategic goals for the year that are in alignment with your vision and at the end of the year see that you’ve achieved at least 85-90% of what you wanted to achieve, you are probably flying by the seat of your pants.

There are many information resources on planning and goal setting, however, you must start with show, not tell.  Everyone has ideas and verbal goals. Ideas are cheap. Talk is even cheaper. You respect and listen to thinkers because their strategies and ideas have been validated by achievement, whether good or bad. Our goal is to get you to your true visionary role. A visionary without a strategic platform is a tree that falls in the forest and makes no sound.  When you prove your vision is valid, gaining recognition (which includes your revenue goals) for visionary thinking is much easier.

Getting to the CORE training starts with, “what do you want to achieve (by some end date), and then you evaluate your progress each week to see if you’re hitting your marks.  Simultaneously, you’re setting goals for the next three years.  These aren’t money goals, marketing goals, or technology goals, etc., getting to the core is focused on higher goals beyond a vision statement – what are you really trying to do.

CEO Action: Do the Work You Should Be Doing

Begin to be accountable and responsible; we set the rhythm and provide a pace. Ultimately, your focus should be to do the work you should be doing as the CEO, Founder, Owner.

Keep in mind…

  • this is Your Strategic Work Time
  • this is not extra time spent away from your business
  • this is not wasted time on things that don’t apply to your business

This month’s action items will…

  • guide the business vision
  • expose flaws in your business model
  • provide a road map for the next month’s activities

Let’s begin with the basics even if you’ve been in business for over five years, don’t skip this step:

Part I: Get Focused

*Define a (real) direction for you and your business.

Answer this question: When you get to where you’re going, where will you be? Strategic entrepreneurs get what they want because they know what they want and they have a good idea of where they are going. Most people can start an entrepreneurial career, but to flourish isn’t so easy.  As a small business owner or entrepreneur, it’s essential that you establish a direction for your business in order to understand which strategic roads to take

*Why are you in business?

Bottom line:  we’re all in business to make money; what does making money mean to you?  Does it mean fulfilling your passion for helping people?  What will the profits from the business provide?  Always keep in mind that just because you’re passionate about helping people doesn’t mean the people you’re helping want what you have to offer.  Your business must be a profit-producing investment or you will be lost.

*Define what business you’re in.

Are you in the business of providing alarm systems for commercial properties, or are you in the business of providing security for business assets acquired by retail establishments? The image, brand, focus, and everything else is defined by the business you say you’re in.

*Define your targets.

You can’t hit a target you never set.  You must have your goals (targets) clearly defined including action steps to achieve them.

*Understand the economics of the deal.

First determine the financial considerations of the business you’re in, and then understand the profit margins of the product or service you’re selling.  You need to know the financial picture of your business, don’t leave that up to your accountant. If you already have this, have you implemented a monthly analysis of your accounting activities vs. your finance activities?

*Define the current perception of your chosen industry (it can change).

Perception in business can make or break your efforts.  What is perception?  In business it is recognizing and interpreting information.  What perceptions do you have of your industry?  What perceptions does your target market have of your industry?  Special note:  Managing perceptions in business is truly about managing expectations.

*Entrepreneurs and business owners must be good strategist.

Businesses who consistently win have a clear strategy. A good strategist develops long-term targets while hitting short-term targets while managing day-to-day activities.  Strategies allow your business to stay on course, and avoids any alternative that does not get you closer to your established long-term targets.

Now that you’re focused on the CORE, let’s move to part II.

Part II: Get Back to Basics (every week!)

  1. Vision – What are the goals you need to reach your business vision
  2. Strategy – How will you do this (are doing this? (definite plans of action)
  3. People – Who will help you? Who is currently helping you? Who do you need to replace?
  4. Leadership – How will you lead your handpicked team and get your documented strategy in place or updated?

Don’t think too hard just jot down some initial thoughts and ideas.

Next, find a business colleague to partner with so you can hold each other accountable to move forward with your plan and to ultimately integrate into any plans you’ve already started documenting.  You can do video chats, Skype chats, google hangouts, telemeetings or even meet in person if they are in the same area.

Plan on meeting twice per week for check-ins over the next six months.  Monday’s are “what will you do this week” conversations, and Friday’s are “what did you do that you said you would do this week” conversations.  Keep each check-in to 20 minutes or less.  Each person gets 10 minutes.

Really, it is this simple you just have to do it. If you’re already doing it, is it working or do you need to revise your plan for check-ins?


I would like to hear how it’s going, keep me updated by commenting below!

Your Transmogrifyer

Sherese Duncan

p.s.  Remember, your overriding CORE objective is to Focus, Fully Engage and Finish!

How are you going to commit to this month’s action step?  Share in the comments

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About the Author ()

Duncan has owned and operated Efficio, Inc., a business education company for over 20 years. As the visionary leader of Efficio, Inc., Duncan is spearheading a global initiative to help entrepreneurs build successful business enterprises. In addition, over the last seven years, Duncan’s expertise extends to seven additional viable businesses including dimage, an image consulting firm, Efficio Radio Network, a small business talk Internet Radio Station, Efficio's Business Institute, an online school for entrepreneurial credentials, Tactical Growth, a strategic marketing firm for small business owners and For Educators, an organization dedicated to serving higher education institutions with entrepreneurial curriculum, marketing support and program development.

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