As Agency Owners it’s our “Fall Plan” time. To help me with fall planning success at my Agency I’ve found that answering 5 key questions is instrumental in deciding on my goals for the next year. I’m sharing these five questions with you as a means to work through the planning process with purpose and effectiveness.
1. Does your business plan set you up for “profit” or “project?”
Hopefully, you understand that all we truly own at our agencies are NET PROFITS. However, when we realize (or don’t realize) those profits is a business decision we each must make.
Each market is different, each team is different, each book size and tenure is different so these aren’t “one size fits all” answers. Based on your personal situation, what is the best plan of attack for you when it comes to Team, Marketing and Growth Strategy?
Are you in a situation where your plan should create an immediate impact on your bottom line (profit)? Or are you prepared to re-invest those dollars to load the boat today with the expectation of even larger revenue results in the future (project)?
Ideally, if you can balance the two by realizing profits today while still setting yourself up for growth into the future that’s a Home Run! But again, every situation is different.
2. What is your “Why?” What is your purpose and passion?
We all had different reasons driving us to open our agencies. Perhaps those reasons are the same today as they were on day one. Or, maybe those reasons have evolved through the years. Either way, it’s crucial that you answer the question, “Who am I doing this for?”
And then follow that up with, “Why is it important for me to succeed?”
When you understand your WHY, PURPOSE and PASSION then it becomes a lot easier and more exciting to get out of bed and tackle the opportunities you have in front of you.
3. What are the 3 MOST ESSENTIAL, MUST WIN areas for YOU – the CEO of your Agency – to execute on at a high level in order to achieve your goals in the coming year?
I speak to Agents all over the country and the #1 mistake I see those who are struggling make is this: they try to do TOO MUCH! LESS is MORE when it comes to productivity. When you try to be all things, to all people, all of the time it’s a recipe for disaster and ultimately rather than pleasing everybody you end up satisfying NONE of them, including yourself.
Write down the 3 most essential things that when executed at a high level, nothing else can prevent you from hitting your goals. Then, every single day with laser-like focus, simply work your butt off to WIN those three areas.
Anything that does not move you closer to dominating in one of those three areas simply say NO! Or delegate it to somebody else in your office. Your time is limited, it’s valuable and it shouldn’t be wasted doing anything that is not essential CEO work.
4. How can I add new initiatives to improve my Agency without disrupting my current flow?
Again, this is a common mistake for Agents. There are tens of thousands of Agency owners out there who combined have over 100,000 different thoughts, ideas, systems, processes, mindsets and mantras. Most of them are FANTASTIC ideas and they work, but you cannot implement all of them at once. I recently spent 6 hours speaking to a group of agents and I literally counted 112 different ideas that I shared. My challenge to that group and to you as well is this.
Be an 1800s gold miner. Go ahead and throw all of these different ideas into your sifter, but then shake it, keep the two or three golden nuggets you find and throw away the rest with the dirt. Identify the areas your agency is doing well and DON’T CHANGE THEM! Don’t disrupt that flow. Instead, just make a few minor tweaks to the other areas. Oftentimes, we overwhelm our teams by making wholesale changes. My challenge to you this year is to throw away the dirt and keep the gold.
5. How will you hold yourself accountable to your new year business plan?
We’ve all muttered some form of these words in the past “nobody is as tough on me as I am!” I’m calling BS.
If we are being honest, we are the first to give ourselves a pass when things become difficult. And we are masters at justifying the reasons why.
If you are going to be at the gym every single morning for a 5 AM workout, you need to know that somebody else will be there waiting for you. You need an accountability partner.
Find somebody who will hold you accountable to your business plan goals for the new year. Somebody who cares enough about you to look you in the eye and challenge you to do better. Somebody who won’t take your BS excuses as to why you are slacking. Then, you have to be that person for them too.
Answer these five questions for fall planning success now, take consistent action on that plan and dominate your market next year!