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Inside Business | 4 min read

5 Steps to drive your business forward in 2020

Alister Maple-Brown

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Alister Maple-Brown

It’s human nature for us to look ahead at the start of the New Year. But as you plan your business journey for 2020, don’t forget to look back and learn from the past. Here are some simple steps you can take to map out your success for the coming year.

man checking rearview mirror while driving

Step 1. Check your rear view mirror

Consider the road your business has travelled over the last 12 months. No doubt there have been some twists and turns, and maybe even some speed bumps. But there’s also likely been times when the road has been straight and you’ve travelled with the wind in your hair.
 
Take the time to assess the journey you’ve taken. Reviewing your people, processes and systems is a great way to start the year in a positive and focused way. What worked? What didn’t work? Knowing the answers to these questions will put you in a much stronger position to create a plan to support your growth in the coming year.
 
Also be sure to look at the data you have on hand across your various systems. The insights you gain by analysing this data will be essential as you embark on the planning process. Tools like Property Tree's Business Insights, for example allow you to view data covering performance across your agency and team, allowing you to make better decisions and plan ahead with data-backed recommendations.
 
 
car with map and location pins planning journey concept

Step 2. Plan your journey


Now that you’ve considered the road you’ve travelled, you can start planning for the trip ahead.  Focus on the planning process.  As Dwight Eisenhower once said: “I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensible.”  Planning is critical, including setting objectives and milestones. However the plan is bound to change as the year progresses. Having the flexibility to strategically pivot is important. 
 
Start your planning process by taking what you’ve learnt about the last 12 months and then ask yourself three questions. What should you keep doing? What should you start doing? And what should you stop doing? Finding out what’s working well is just as important as discovering the things that need to change or be stopped completely.
 
With these answers in hand, you can start mapping out your plan for the coming year. Think about where you want to go and what you want to achieve, and write it down. Always commit your plan to paper.
 
 
roadsigns stop detour right turn caution

Step 3. Look for road signs

Having a plan in place to arrive at your destination is great, but how will you know if you’re on track to get there on time? You need to identify key metrics and measure your performance against them.
 
By carefully reviewing your metrics and working out what contributed to your growth and success, you’ll be able to ascertain best practices for the future. Equally, knowing that you may have fallen short in some areas will help you make the relevant changes to turn things around and get back on track. 
 
race car driver accelerating a vehicle on the race track

Step 4. Accelerate

Now it’s time to head out onto the open road and put your foot on the accelerator.
 
Remember, it’s OK to take a detour or two along the way. You may decide to completely change a process, introduce a new piece of technology or restructure a team. ‘Out with the old, in with the new’ doesn’t only need to happen at the start of the journey. You may find that the processes and systems you have in place are doing an OK job and you only need to make a few tweaks here and there. Or you might find that things are working well and decide to do nothing.
 
A decision to take a different route is just as valid as a decision to stay on track.
 
 
an arm in abusiness suit grabbing a checkered flag

Step 5. Take the checkered flag


Too many times in business we’re focused on what we haven’t achieved on our business journey. We look only at the disappointments and letdowns. Don’t do it! It will only serve to hold you back from future success.
 
Take the wins and be sure to celebrate what you’ve achieved at every stage of your business journey.
 

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