Last December I worked with a marketing consultant to define my strategy for business development. We laid out the different strategies that had worked for me in the past, and defined the dollars and cents goals for each one. I was thrilled with the plan and excited to implement it.
According to the counsel I received at the conclusion of these planning sessions, every time I executed one of the strategies in my plan I was to analyze or track how it worked, compare the actual results to what we put in the plan, and then tweak the strategy for the next time.
Great advice, right? Well, here we are at the start of Q2 and guess what? The plan is being executed, a lot of good work has been done, but very little tracking, measuring or tweaking has taken place. I have a sense of what is working and what’s not, but no clear picture to guide me in making changes for the next time. I feel like a living definition of insanity doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different result.
So as I reset my focus on the business development strategies that I’ll implement for the rest of the year, I’ve also reset my focus on the “Plan, Track, Measure, Tweak” approach to always be learning and changing to ensure I can be as successful as possible. Here’s a guide with questions that I’ll be using. I hope it’s valuable as you reset your own focus. It may seem overly simple, but keeping it simple will help both of us actually do it.
As you look at the strategies you set previously or are just deciding upon now, answer these questions as specifically as possible:
- What am I going to do?
- What do I want to happen as a result of each thing I’ll do?
- When you execute all or part of one of your plans, hit the pause button immediately afterwards and ask:
- What did I actually end up doing as compared to what I planned?
After an appropriate amount of time has passed, ask yourself:
- Did things happen (i.e., did I get the results) that I wanted to happen?
- What happened that I didn’t expect?
- What worked?
- What didn’t work?
After answering the “Track” and “Measure” questions, go back to your plan and ask:
- What part of this strategy needs to change?
- Which of my expectations need to change if I do this again?
Staying in this constant learning and changing mode will keep your plans fresh, and keep you on track to hit your goals.