Business Advice

Plan early: How to create a fail-safe business strategy for 2019

John Colbert /

business strategy

Corporate Edge director and partner John Colbert. Source: Supplied.

This year has been and gone. So what did your team achieve?

If you want 2019 to be a bigger and better year, you’re going to need a plan. Success doesn’t just happen, it is the result of a clear strategy.

Strategising for success can feel like a daunting task but it doesn’t have to be. There are three simple steps to creating a fail-safe plan your team can follow next year. By following these steps, you will gain a greater understanding of where your team is currently, what you really want to achieve and how you will get there.

1. Ask your team: ‘What’s now?’

Before you can make any plans for the future, you need to really understand your current state. Often, we have a limited perspective or tunnel vision and are blinded to reality. Dedicating time to be with your team and work out the reality of your current state is the first step toward a great 2019.

The best way to assess where you are currently is to gather information from various perspectives. Get your financial team to give you the numbers, get your branding expert’s advice on your current public perception and ask HR about the strengths and weaknesses of your team. It’s tempting to try and solve problems at this stage, but hold that thought, record your current state and move onto the next step.

2. Ask your team: ‘Where to next?’

This is the time to dream big! Where would you like to be? Spend time envisioning what the future could look like, in all areas of your business. Think about your financial, creative, internal culture and industry goals.

At this stage, it’s important to think carefully about what success looks like for your team. Is there a magic number you’re aiming for? Or, would you like to grow in staff or public recognition?

Write down a list of goals which are measurable. These goals don’t have to be achieved in the coming year but make sure there are actionable milestones you can work towards in 2019.

3. Bridge the gap

You’ve done the work to understand where you are now and where you would like to be. Now is the time to think about how to get there.

What is stopping you from achieving the goals you have identified? Is it money? An unsupportive culture? Effort? Skills? Think about where the holes are and then work out how to fill them. Communicating these goals with your team you will ensure everyone stays focused.

This ‘gap-filling’ process can create both long-term and short-term plans. As a minimum, create goals for the next six and 12 months, planning to review the progress at these points. Be aware of the longer-term plans and make sure the next year is used to work towards the ultimate end goal. Assign particular responsibilities to team members and be sure they are aware of the specifics of each goal and feel confident working toward success.

Make 2019 a year of strategy

Don’t let next year pass you by. Making the time to sit with your team and work through the above framework is the key ingredient to success. Use the coming 12 months for the good of your business and your goals. Become aware of your present state, your ideal state and what’s in between. Then, invest in bridging the gap!

This is a surefire way to create clear and actionable goals for your team that work toward a common purpose. In a year’s time, we want you to be able to look back and see real progress, thanks to your 2019 strategy.

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John Colbert

John is a director and partner at Corporate Edge.

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