Starting this year’s plan

It is mid-March and you like many others have either not started implementing the wonderful 2014 plans you prepared for your business, or are not as far along as you planned to be. Why could this be so and what might be done to address this?

Insufficient timePerhaps there are so many items on the list that you keep postponing them because you are too overwhelmed to find the time. Fortunately, everything does not have to happen at once. Divide the activities into high, medium and low priority categories and determine which activities are absolutely necessary and which could be deleted or postponed to 2015.

On the shorter prioritised list, review the distribution of activities across all four quarters. If everything is set to happen in January to March, move some activities to other quarters. It will be easier to find the time to work on a shorter list.

Insufficient fundsHave you exhausted all the sources of funds available to you – personal savings, friends, family and your bank? If yes, can some of the activities be carried out without money? Suppose you planned to design an electronic accounting database. You, however, feel stuck because you cannot afford to hire the accountant and information technology expert to get the database up and running.

Can you think of any friends or relatives who would be willing to volunteer or barter their services? Alternatively, you could contact one of our many universities or colleges and find out if some students there would be interested in and able to use this opportunity for practical experience. Insufficient know-how: Knowing where to go for help may be considered more valuable than knowing how to get a task done especially since none of us is capable of knowing how to do everything. As mentioned above, friends, relatives and academic institutions are one option. The business association you belong to could also suggest sources of expertise.

Insufficient buy-inIf your employees are dragging their feet on implementing some activities because they disagreed with you when you insisted on including those activities in the 2014 plan, find out why.

Could they have some market information that you do not have? Did they test your idea of onion juice on some of your existing customers only to find that none of them liked it? Alternatively, your employees could be unaware that you have information confirming that the quail eggs you would like to introduce are becoming increasingly popular. Identify the source of resistance and address it. Finally, appoint a plan manager to hold everyone accountable. The plan manager will monitor everyone’s progress on a weekly basis and immediately draw attention to any delays. These tips should help get you moving on your delayed 2014 plans.


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