In the last couple of weeks, I've had several clients ask me about the best way to do strategic planning. 2018 is coming up quickly, so I wanted to share a few strategies with you to get you started with your end of the year wrap up and getting ready for strategic planning in 2018.
The very first thing to pay attention to at this time of the year is all the wins and successes you had in 2017. I know, our temptation is, ‘well I'm ready to just dive in to goal setting for 2018.' We need to slow it down. One of my favorite sayings is, “let's slow things down to speed things up.”
Slow it down and pay attention to what you actually did accomplish and what rocks, what big, important $10,000 an hour activities that you moved forward, in 2017. Stopping to celebrate and acknowledge wins and successes is very important because in small business, we are always dealing with challenges and our natural mindset is, we're not moving forward at the pace we want to move forward. Most of us business owners are very impatient and we feel like we should be way over here and yet we're still back here, and we get frustrated with ourselves.
So slowing down and paying attention to well, what did I actually accomplish over the last year, has a significant impact. I think you'll really surprise yourself. So some things to look at, in terms of your accomplishments … how did you improve the profitability in your business this year? Did you implement Profit First? Did you improve your percentage of profit that you're setting aside? Did you increase your owner’s pay? A lot of our clients have done that this past year and it's really fun to see that and acknowledge and celebrate that. Getting ready to move into 2018, it's exciting to set that next profit goal or that next goal for owners pay so that you are able to pay yourself more as the business owner.
So did you increase revenue in your business? Did you improve your service delivery and with respect to the $10,000 an hour value, what did you do to improve product or service delivery for your very top clients and customers? What did you do with respect to your hiring? Did you fire anybody this year? Did you let go? Did you make the tough decision to let go of an employee or several employees who were not healthy for your company culture? I know that's a tough decision. Celebrate that for yourself and acknowledge that was a big learning point for you this year. Did you hire some A players? Did you improve your systems for hiring A players? That's always a good one to acknowledge for yourself. Many of you have been reading my book, How To Hire The Best, you've been going through my Masterclass: Quickly Double Your Profit with Top Performing Employees and you've actually hired A players. So celebrate and acknowledge that for yourself.
Another area to look at is what did you do to improve your team and grow your employees, and help support them in their personal development? We've had some of our clients sending their team members, their employees, through Leadership Bootcamp and so now they have team members who are well aligned with them for working on the goals for 2018 and moving things forward.
Another area to consider is what did you do to make your marketing more effective and efficient? So how did you make better use of your marketing dollars in 2017? So a lot of our clients have been working on identifying, first off, identifying the Business Sweet Spot, identifying the top 20% of the clients and customers that are responsible for 80% of the revenue in the business, and then moving their marketing budget over to focus on starting the top 20% better and better with their marketing, and attracting more clients and customers like their top 20%.
So you might have heard me in the Breakthroughs Webinars talking about doubling your ideal clients and what impact that would have on your business. So if you have done anything in 2017 to strategically attract more top clients and customers in to your business, acknowledge that. That's big $10,000 an hour work for you that you've done this year in your business.
Keep a notepad handy. All through the next week, as the ideas come to you, of all the wins and successes that you've had in 2017, jot these down in your notebook and stay tuned because next week I'm going to share with you how to take these insights that you're having … these wins and successes from these insights and move this forward in to your strategic planning for 2018. That's it for now, bye.