Plan to achieve!

Business Planning...Freedom Starts between the ears!

Can you believe that we are over half way through 2017 already? The end of the financial year brought with it a time of reflection, as we looked at the books, reviewed our business plans and become accountable.    

Plan to Achieve! It’s no accident

If you don’t want a life of imitation, then one thing’s for certain – you need to plan to be different. If you were a fan of our Plan to Achieve suite of resources you are going to love our new Business Planning Toolkit. It’s designed to support those of us on a mission to achieve awesome.

We have long been a fan of using planners, but there’s nothing more annoying than the rigidness of a printed bound diary or business journal. You love using it for a month and then start to find fault with what it doesn’t do for you. Planning is such an individual, and we think creative process. Whilst we love and religiously use a paper based diary system, we find it hard to conform to tradition. What was available just wasn’t working for us. That’s why we made our downloadable Business Planning Toolkit and decided to share it with our Scope Vision enthusiasts. We wanted to give you the freedom; to put planning in your own hands. You can download it, print it out and plan your journey. No page restrictions, no useless areas in your planner – if you don’t use it – remove it! Plus you can print as many of your favourite planning tools, as often as you want! We believe, if your planner doesn’t work for you – you should change it – but never lose sight of your focus.

How to plan to achieve

At Scope Vision we believe that business planning shouldn’t be daunting. There’s a formula to follow if you want to succeed. It’s a matter of visualising where you want to go, and then creating SMART goals to keep you accountable as you action plan how to get there. Your focus then shifts to monitoring, as you review and collaborate, staying focused on the mission.

If there’s one thing we know about business, it’s to keep your eye on the ball, even if you can’t see the ball. Change is the only constant. This is why planning can never take on a ‘set and forget’ mentality. The reality is that what you focus on becomes reality. So you had better figure out what matters most and focus on it - hard!

Let’s look at the critical planning steps outlined in our infographic in more detail, our Business Planning Toolkit gives you templates and challenges to tackle if you want to start building an awesome plan.

Establish and set SMART personal, professional, team and business goals; then regularly monitor them.
Be accountable.

As the saying goes ‘If you don’t know where you are going; you might wind up someplace else’. If you don’t get specific and make your goals measurable then the reality is you are unlikely to achieve them. Too often we set goals that are not specific and more than likely unachievable. With this attitude it’s little wonder that most of us set ourselves up to fail! If you generate SMART goals (ones that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely), then follow up on your progress regularly, you will be well on your way to achieve everything you have planned.

Generate awesome plans

Always put your intentions in writing, but make sure that you get creative when you’re doing it! You have to plan your execution so you can execute your plan. Make it fun and think differently. There are so many concept tools within our Business Planning Toolkit, you will never be stuck for ideas and fresh thinking. The same thinking will only see you stay in the same location. Your plan should help you and the team move forward with confidence and your SMART goals when critically monitored, will ensure you all get there.

We regularly collaborate and pulse-check our progress in the following areas of our business:

  1. Sales
  2. Marketing Strategy
  3. Financial
  4. Business Goals [Plan on a Page]
  5. Workforce and People Development
  6. Personal Master Task Lists
  7. Project Plans - Various
  8. Work Health and Safety
  9. RTO Compliance and Continuous Improvement

Of course you should generate awesome plans for all of your identified key drivers within your operations. There’s no point planning for the sake of planning! Plans generated need to be real, working documents that capture your vision as well as what you do. Zig Ziglar attests ‘Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation’. So plan every opportunity and then execute your plan.

SWOT and SOAR your way to success

To SWOT or not to SWOT, that is the question. At Scope Vision we definitely say SWOT it! SWOT your business (as part of your strategic planning process); your team (to uncover the status quo) ; an opportunity you want to effectively explore; a competitor you would like to analyse; a problem you need to solve; a product in its life cycle; a person you would like to develop and grow….SWOT it!

Strengths identified should be leveraged with action plans established to take advantage of them; Weaknesses should be actioned with a view to diminish them. Opportunities must be actioned to take full advantage of them (this is where new money streams flow from) and Threats should be reviewed assessing the impact they will have on your plans moving forward. Ultimately you want to mitigate threats, or worst case scenario minimise their impact, but sometimes all we can do with them is be informed. Many sit outside of our circle of control.

If you’d like to read how some of our clients use SWOT in Action; head over to the website and read the blog: There’s nothing more exciting than a fiscal boner, or use the template in our Business Planning Toolkit to get you started. 

SOAR: a new planning approach to SWOT

If you haven’t heard of SOAR don’t panic! It’s a business planning tool in a similar vein to SWOT. The main differential between the two is that SOAR provides more of a strength-based focus than SWOT does. In SOAR, weaknesses are explored and reframed as opportunities. When you focus on improvement and growing capabilities, rather than the negative, opportunities flow.

SOAR provides a team with a framework for conversations:

  • What are we doing well?
  • What skills can we improve on?
  • What is most compelling to us and our stakeholders?; and
  • SOAR forces the team to engage in appreciative inquiry thinking

At Scope Vision we use SOAR monthly to pulse check our strengths and be accountable for our progress. Completing a SOAR analysis not only clarifies the opportunities we must focus on, but helps us to visualise where we want to go so we can plan for it and identify our results.

Check out our June SOAR in action (below) and read more on the concept in our latest eBook Don’t Just Fly…SOAR.

Analyse your environment: PESTLE

It’s always important to view your business in the context of the broader environment in which you operate; PESTLE is the right tool to do this. PESTLE asks you to analyse the impact of the following factors on your business continuity: Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental. Once established, you only need to pulse check your analysis once a quarter, or when a significant change occurs. Whilst many of the factors analysed are beyond our circle of control, in business we still need to strategise how we will minimise the potential impact of each on our business. Even the smallest of businesses are not immune to global impacts, as evidenced during the Global Financial Crisis.

Lessons learned; a time of reflection

At the end of each month we Reflect & Focus. We ask what's been working well for us, the challenges we've faced and what we've done to action plan them. We find the more reflective we are, the more effective we become. Reflecting on last month’s performance helps us to look forward and definitely influences our future plans. Analysing critical business moments gives us the opportunity to reflect on and refine current practices; identifying those that are working well for us and highlighting clearly those we should stop.

If results are the reflection of your efforts, then you need to ensure that your efforts are focused on the right activities. To read more on ensuring you PAY yourself well so that you starve your distractions and feed your focus, check out our previous blog which outlined just what your time is really worth.

Evoke success through planning

We hope you agree that planning isn’t daunting; it’s fun! The right planning tools will empower you to visualise the future, generate SMART goals to action plan, monitor your progress and mindset, measure your results and push boundaries, be agile and adapt, be curious and grow. Confidence and capabilities fast replace hopes and dreams, as your plan to achieve evolves!

If you need help with your next business planning day and need to think differently, then contact us to facilitate your workshop. If you found value in this article hit the ❤ button then share it with someone you know that would benefit from reading it! Be curious and engage!




The Value of Time

PAY yourself well

Have you ever worked out your hourly rate, or the value of your time in 10 minute increments? Do you know what your time is actually worth so that you can prioritise your activities by yield and PAY yourself accordingly?

What's your time worth?

Let’s say your salary was $100, 000 per year, you take 6 weeks paid leave and 1 week of public holidays are accrued annually, you work 37.5 hours a week [1725 hours of work per year].

Your value per hour is $59.26 and every minute of your time is worth $0.99.

OK, so you’re not quite Bill Gates earning roughly $114.16 per second, but 10 minutes of your time is still valuable; it's worth around $10.00.

What's your time worth.png

As you start to think of your time in 10 minute intervals, the value you place on activities changes. Someone comes into your office for a chat. 10 minutes passes; you are effectively handing them $10. 20 minutes late to a meeting, the cost to everyone involved is proportionate. When you value your time, you value your focus.

Valuing your focus

Effectively prioritising your tasks enables you to realise what is important and what is not. Not every task is important and not every task is urgent. Knowing the value of your tasks and their importance in helping you to reach your goals will help you to allocate more time to those tasks within your Daily Focus planner.

Steven R. Covey in his book ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ suggests using a 4 quadrant matrix to help you realise just how important and urgent your tasks actually are. He suggests that you classify what you do according to their level of importance in helping you to realise your goals. 

Covey's classification system

Quadrant 1: Important and urgent

He refers to this quadrant as the quadrant of necessity. Here you find tasks that are important in achieving your goal, and they have an impending deadline which makes them urgent. These tasks must be finished and require your immediate attention and focus. These become your number one PAY activities and are scheduled in your Daily Focus planner.

Quadrant 2: Important but not urgent

Quadrant 2 should be your focus. Covey calls this the quadrant of quality and personal leadership. How you plan for and execute tasks in this quadrant is visible to those around you. Whilst tasks in this quadrant are important, they can always be planned for. Focus given to these tasks increases your effectiveness. Schedule them in your Monthly, Weekly and Daily Focus planner. These tasks definitely increase your yield.

Quadrant 3: Urgent but not important

The quadrant of deception, these tasks usually offer little value to your goals. Try and avoid these tasks as much as possible. Spend time focusing on what is important. Learn to say ‘No’ or to delegate them wherever possible. PAY someone else; they are stealing time and focus. You don't want to see them on your planner!

Quadrant 4: Not urgent and not important

These are your low priority tasks that give you the illusion of being busy, Covey calls this the quadrant of deception. The tasks have little significance in your life and often take up a signification proportion of your time on a daily basis. Keep postponing these tasks forever and you will notice a significant increase in your productivity, never PAY these in your planner.

Plan your focus

Planning and goals are important if your dreams are to become your reality. Goals quickly become redundant if your daily activities do not revolve around the tasks that help you achieve them. Everything on your Daily Focus planner should be aligned with your goals. If you want to run a marathon, then your Daily Focus planner will be filled with running commitments. If you want to be an awesome manager, then your Daily Focus planner will be filled with one-on-one meetings with your team members.

Business Planning Toolkit

If you need help with your time management and business planning skills then checkout our Business Planning Toolkit designed for those who don't want a life of imitation. It's a downloadable, printable, reusable suite of awesome resources - Business Development Tools, Project Planning Tools, Time Management and Concept Development Tools - all guaranteed to get you business focused! 

Plan Differently. Think Differently. Focus!

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Are You 1/4 Full or 1/4 Empty?

Are You 1/4 Full or 1/4 Empty?

It's time for your first quarter check in! How are you travelling with the goals you established in January? Are you running on 1/4 full, or 1/4 empty? Check how you are measuring up and explore the basics of SMART business planning. Planning shouldn't be daunting; it should be fun!

Be Awesome – It’s truly your journey!

Be awesome every day

What I love most about my life is that every day I get to spend time alongside some absolutely amazing people.  People who challenge me, grow me, question me, laugh with me and dream with me. Those in the know know that what rocks my boat most is watching people grow and develop some level of awesome.

Someone asked me recently what I meant by be awesome? So I pondered. To me it means being the very best you that you can be; whatever your journey, whatever your road.

If your intention is always to leave a situation in a better state, to care about others, to take the time to help people grow, then it’s almost impossible not to be seen as awesome in somebody’s eyes. Easily achieved in your personal world, but what does it mean for us in the corporate. Simply put, surround yourself with people you want to spend time with and would find it a privilege to help grow. That’s finding your awesome! Sharing a journey with someone excited to be on it; an unmistakable sparkle in an eye, a glow from within, passion resonating in tone as people share their ideas and experiences. That’s how I find my AWESOME… spending time with people who are!

Aim for 1% improvement daily and you will be bound to be AWESOME; take our March challenge and set awesome goals! Here’s how to do it:

1.     Dream big; but make your goals small
Create a vision then plan it through a series of smaller goals; a goal unplanned is a dream. Think big but be specific on your required actions.

2.     Be proactive; choose to be consistently awesome!
The only one stopping you is you! Consistently check your mindset.

3.     Plan the journey and drive daily
Schedule your time wisely PAY yourself first; spend time doing ‘what matters most’. Always do what matters most. Drive your journey forward to achieve awesome goals.

Raise the bar and inspire others to join you; always be Awesome!

Be AWESOME every day

To start being AWESOME download our new Monthly Perspective…Be Awesome Every Day planner; then comment below to let us know you are into being awesome together!

If you need inspiration to get your planning started, take a look at these great resources designed by us to help you!

Opportunity + Preparation = Success!

Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation!

Wanting to head into 2016 on a positive note I was excited to receive my new business journal and commence planning the 2016 journey. The excitement of planning holidays, client project milestones, creative thinking opportunities and brainstorming key performance indicators ensured I focused on planning to achieve ‘what matters most’ and not to get caught up in the small stuff!

Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation
— Zig Ziglar

Applying the 80/20 rule, focusing on my top 20% high yield tasks, sent the goal implementation plan pounding forward. Within the first week I have been able to action plan and implement 12 new project plans.

So here are my tips for planning to succeed in 2016!

  1.  Have and use a business journal to capture your thoughts and ideas.
  2.  Establish a Master Task List and record everything you need to contribute to in order to achieve your Master Plan; plan your months out in view. Visual planning boards help you to see what’s coming up.
  3. Start project plans early; spend 15 minutes a day brainstorming how to action your key performance indicators. Keep building on your ideas throughout the week, in 5 days your action plan will begin to take shape. 
  4.  Collaborate with others; better ideas come from proactively building on concepts with key stakeholders. Planning in isolation will narrow your focus.
  5. Stay positive! Always look for solutions and benefits in ideas and concepts; look for ways to make it work rather than shelving your enthusiasm and innovative ideas.  
  6. Plan in a creative space; encourage your creativity don’t stifle it! Ensure your environment encourages and stimulates you.
  7.  Be open and adaptable to change; it keeps you in business!

So what’s your planning schedule look like for 2016? We’d love to see it!

Send us a photo or drop us a line on our Facebook page or through LinkedIn!