It’s the New Year, and it’s the perfect time to assess, reassess, make plans and set goals. Where do you want to be in the next year? What goals do you want to achieve? Do you want to increase sales by ten percent, increase your profits, increase your piece count, number of active customers, get new customers? All of the above mentioned? Well, if you don’t have a plan, it’s likely it’s not going to happen.
Failing to plan is a plan for failure. What gets written down gets done and not making plans usually leads to disaster. I learned this lesson the hard way, I used to be real free and easy in my dry cleaning business, I simply reacted to the incoming work as it rose and fell. Like most folks, I sweated it out and worked hard when I got slammed with work, and I would take advantage of the light days. But in time I grew to resent slow days and wish I had more control over how busy or not my plant was.
I can understand that for many ‘creative’ and ‘entrepreneurial’ folks making a plan can feel confining. Having a plan and sticking to it can feel like a prison, but really, it’s not. Making a plan can still leave you all kinds of openings, you can still respond to other events and forces that may arise. Sure, your competitor may spring a surprise on you, but you can always respond even if it changes your plans.
Yes, plans can change. They often do. And I’ll let you in on a secret, having a plan actually puts YOU in the driver’s seat, forcing your competitors to react to YOU and YOUR plans. So, making plans is not as confining and constricting as you may think. It took me a long time to learn just how empowering planning was.
Making a plan can be very intimidating, more so if you’ve never done any planning before. I can tell you, it’s an acquired skill that is learned over time. I recommend small steps at first, such as planning out a day or two in advance or maybe for a week, or even a month if you are feeling ambitious.
One of the biggest obstacles to making plans is having a system and/or the tools to enable you or help you make plans. But, I have a solution that I’m willing to give to you because I want your 2017 to be the most successful and productive yet. You can download a free task list/planning tool that you can print out on regular 8.5 X 11 paper: Dry Cleaners University.
For those who would like a handy solution that you can install on your smart phone and take with you anywhere, check out the following FREE downloads below.
Download a free task list/planner tool app for your Android powered phone: Android.
Download a free task list/planning tool app for your Apple devices: Apple.
I use these tools myself, and I can attest that they are VERY easy to use, and they will help you get more organized, accomplish a lot more and help you make plans and accomplish your goals. Plus, hey, it’s free!
Here are really quick ‘How To’ instructions for you:
1) Download the tools from above, and print out the PDF document, or download the app and install it on your smart phone.
2) Fill in the blanks with tasks you want to accomplish. Yes, write them in, or type them in.
3) Get to work on fulfilling the tasks you set out for yourself.
4) Stroke off each task as you finish it, or if you are using the apps, mark them as completed.
5) If you do not get everything done you needed to on that day, carry the unfinished tasks to the next day. If you are using the apps, the unfinished tasks will carry over to the next day automatically.
6) Keep at it, be persistent. It takes 21 days to make a habit, and it takes 21 days to break a habit. If you make a commitment you must promise me that you will work at this for a full 30 days. Keep your worksheets and look back at all you’ve done, and I’m certain you will see that you have done a lot, probably more than you’ve ever done be-fore. And then, if you are comfortable, keep at it.
By the end of 2017, I’m certain you’ll be miles ahead of where you are in 2016. You’ll have done so much you’ll likely have left all your competitors in the dust.
If this works for you, I would hope you’ll reach out to me about marketing and business development plans. I have even MORE tools that will empower you and grow your business without breaking the bank.
Looking forward to CRUSHING it in 2017 with you, and, Happy New Year!