Mapping It Out: Business Plans, Index Cards, and Keeping It Simple

DSC_5722Success starts with an internal burn. If you’re operating with any kind of goal in mind, it’s most likely because you are passionate about what you do. It’s that hazy area where inherent talent and passion need to be guided that I am able to sit down with clients and strategize. The goal of that strategy is to capitalize on performance, or in other words, see the results of your investment in yourself.

I operate a nationwide coaching practice, and a portion of my clients have the advantage of meeting me face-to-face, which allows us to connect and create a more personalized approach to their success formula. However, the process that each of my clients go through is similar. I always emphasize a systematic and formulaic approach in order to ensure success. Actions must be tested and measured in order to identify what works and what doesn’t. The only way to identify what actions are happening is to create a visual representation of your business plan.

That’s where this strategy comes in:

Creating A Personal Business Map

Take a deck of index cards and as you navigate your week, write down your actions. This includes any tasks, projects, or interactions related to your business. When you’re done, set them aside. Give yourself a week or two. Then take those index cards and prioritize them.

Let’s use your client intake approach/system for example. Maybe you have a total of nine index cards that visually walks you through how you onboard your clients. Does this 9-step system seem laborious to you? If so, take those nine index cards and eliminate steps until your intake system is a 4 or 6-step process instead.

Next, go deeper. When you start to prioritize the index cards, write any specific details or actions that go with that step. For example let’s say you’re approaching ‘step one’ your initial introduction of your products/services to others.

Ask Yourself:  What are the three marketing materials you include with your first client interaction?  Put those details down on the back of that step one index card.

Finally, Evaluate: Do those three initial marketing pieces give your prospect a good flavor of your offerings? When you go to refresh/reinvent your product offerings/services you have clarity on what you do and what can be refreshed for part two of your initiatives. This process saves time by eliminating the need to constantly re-evaluate things. By having a clear record of your actions you are able to streamline your processes and invest more energy in moving forward.

This is one of my more universal strategies that works with just about anything you need to enhance or create for your business approach. If your performance isn’t where you’d like it to be, try implementing this simple strategy and holler back if you’d like more support from Your CIO.

Ignite Your Success!  Your CIO, Marlo