As 2014 is coming to a close, it’s time to consider “what’s your next step?” Is your business ready for 2015? This is usually answered by knowing whether you achieved your plans for 2014.

When I say “plans”, I am not referring to the numbers. I am talking about the plans to elevate your business strategically and operationally to new levels. Did you have business plans focused on elevating your business, and did you accomplish those initiatives? If you did, this would mean that you are now positioned to increase market share, expand your profit margins, and/or accelerate growth in 2015. If you didn’t, you have failed to ready your company for 2015, and now it is too late.

Most worthy and meaningful business-plan initiatives have their biggest impact in the following year. It takes time and money to elevate a business. So, if you failed to implement initiatives to fix your business-model problems, develop that new product, address your marketing issues, and so on, then you are now working towards 2016. Very early in 2015, you need to ask yourself, what are your next steps for elevating your company to that next level?

Action Plans Lead to Success

My article “Action Plans Lead to Success” discusses a primary reason why leaders fail to execute on those next steps. Does your team really have the commitment to see your plans through? Will they find a way to get your plans done in spite of their day-to-day challenges? Will you require that they develop action plans that create the road map to success? Will you and the other leaders hold each other accountable? Or will you leave plan achievement to the typical “hope and pray” method? In other words, will you and your leaders talk about what needs to get done and create a process to let you know whether or not the big priorities for elevating your business are getting done?

Aligning Your Organization

Everyone on your team should have the same priorities in mind. Of course people will disagree, but that’s what meetings are for. You need to get together and come up with a solid plan that everyone is comfortable with. In my article “Effective Meetings Have Conflict” I discuss how healthy conflict is good to have in meetings. You all cannot agree all the time, and you have to be able to create an atmosphere where your team is comfortable enough to share new ideas.

Think about your team now. Do you, your leaders, your employees and team members all have the same priorities to elevate your company to a higher level?

Many companies achieve their numbers and not their plans. If you need help elevating your business, please give me a call, Howard Shore (305) 722-7213.

Business Coach, Business Plan, Business Planning, Business Tips

About Howard M. Shore

Howard M. Shore is a Certified Gazelles Coach, Certified Public Accountant Certified Executive Coach, Certified Behavioral Analyst, Certified Values Analyst, and Certified Attributes Index Analyst. He has earned Bachelor and MBA degrees from Florida International University, and completed advanced executive programs at Harvard Law School and the University of Chicago.