Ever been asked the question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
It’s not uncommon for individuals and businesses to plan ahead in five-year chunks. But so much can change in five years, particularly in the fast-moving mortgage broking industry. Five years ago, we had no idea that a Royal Commission was going to threaten the commission structure of mortgage brokers. Five years before that, we were just coming out of the Global Financial Crisis, which resulted in many businesses going under.
While it’s incredibly useful to have a vision to strive for and a rough plan for how to get there, take a moment to consider if you’re doing yourself a disservice by thinking in five-year chunks. We tend to advocate for a three-year plan approach instead.
A case for three-year plans
Platinum People Group recently sat down to map out our own five-year plan. We ran into some issues with the five-year structure, as it felt challenging to predict what would come up over that period of time. A lot of our plans started to feel very ‘pie in the sky’ and depended on the accomplishment of a range of goals. So many plans hinge on certain things happening, and it all has to stack up to be realistic. In a small business, things change all the time, so it’s difficult to know what’s going to happen.
In the end, we decided it would be much more beneficial to focus on the next three years. Three-year plans can be a lot more realistic and achievable, as long as they’re reviewed quarterly. You should start by putting some KPIs and milestones in place to ensure your goals will actually be accomplished.
Setting your EOFY business plan
As we head towards the end of the financial year, think about the last time you looked at your business plan. Do you still use it or follow it? If not, it may be time to revisit your business plan with your team.
Vision and goals
A good three-year business plan will start by outlining your overall business vision, and your key objectives. Work with your team to nut out what specific milestones you need to set for each year. Beyond this, you can also set quarterly milestones for at least the first year, which will help you work towards achieving your objectives.
A solid vision and set of clear goals are vital for getting everyone on the same page and understanding what you’re working towards as a team. It’s important to be ambitious, but also realistic. Remember, you want to keep your goals achievable so you can celebrate success down the track! Using the SMART goal-setting framework can help here.
Research and execution
A good business plan should include market research and data to support it. Data allows you to make informed decisions about real issues. It gives you truth and reality, so you have a solid foundation on which to create your plan.
Depending on what your specific vision is, you may need to collect data on the business’ finances, or even directly from your customers. You may have internal goals that require surveying or interviewing your team to collect data. Whatever it is, ensure you have the numbers you need to justify your strategy. Once you have the data you need to support your wider vision, develop an execution strategy that outlines what needs to happen when.
Milestones and KPIs
A plan isn’t worth the paper it’s written on if you don’t have measures in place to execute it. Once you’ve worked out your goals and you have the data you need to back it up, note down the key milestones or activities that need to happen in order to achieve these goals. Then, note down who’s doing what, and keep a record of what team members should be involved at each step. Create a process for keeping each other accountable, whether it’s fortnightly check-ins or weekly reports. This can translate into KPIs for your team, to keep them on track for success in their role.
Achieving your business goals often relies on having the right team around you to make it happen. If you don’t have the support you need to reach your goals right now, who do you need to bring on over the next three years to make it feasible?
We can help you work effective recruitment strategies into your three-year business plan so you’ll be well on your way to success. Reach out to us for a complimentary business consultation today. Three-year career plans can also be highly beneficial for taking your career to the next level. You may need some help figuring out where you want to go, what milestones you need to set for yourself, and how you’ll work to get there. We can offer a free career consultation to help you get ahead, on track for success.