A business year is a bit like building a house

This year my wife and I purchased an investment property and are building a duplex off the plan in SE Perth. We are watching from afar as the land has been cleared, the slab has been laid and the frame is about to go up. Hopefully, we will be ready for tenants by December 2024.

I have found this a useful metaphor for building the year in business. It is important to have a clear vision (decide what you want to do), create a workable plan that segments the work required to achieve the vision broken down into steps and timeframes, and then it is vital to implement and monitor the plan through all the ups and downs of the year.

Creating a strong structure for your business year helps you and your team know exactly what needs to be done next in the business. It also helps you know if you are on track.

Building a house is done in stages.

Progress payments from the bank for drawing down a loan occur once a stage is completed. This is an excellent way to look at your year. A series of smaller projects rather than one long exhausting project. It is easy to become sidetracked and bogged down if you do not segment the larger project into smaller steps. This provides structure. It is easier to set timelines. It becomes motivating for team members to see stages completed. People need to see results from their work. Stage completion allows for this.

Structure for your year:

I am pushing the metaphor a little, but I hope you can get the idea.

  1. Design your plans – the visionary stage for any business should happen in October each year. It is well worth taking a day out to look ahead at what you want to achieve in the coming year.
  2. Clear the ground – make sure you have cleared away the debris of last year and have a clear run at the work you plan to do this year. Ideally done at the end of the previous year, but if not, it can be a late January project to set things up.
  3. Build the Foundation – the first few weeks of the year are critical to get things started well with your team. In Australia our year works well with the calendar. We have a couple of months in February and March to get the year going strongly before Easter break. [April can be an awkward month in Australia, with Easter, school holidays and Anzac Day all creating short weeks.]
  4. Frame to lock up – After Easter we have a great run into the cooler months. If you are well planned and can motivate your people with clear direction, this is the time for massive progress. Set up the frame, add the external walls and roof, install windows and doors. This can all happen relatively quickly.
  5. Mid build review – Lock up is a whole new stage. It can be a dangerous time because the job feels almost done. However, there is usually more time-consuming work still to happen to complete the project. It is a good time to review and reshape plans, so the next stages can go ahead.
  6. Complete all the internal walls and fittings and fixtures – this is usually more specialised work that involves some contractors. So, some team members can be freed up to finish off work or get their eyes on planning ahead.
  7. Finalise planning for next year – October – is a great month to take a couple of days to do this well.
  8. Landscape the yard – final touches ready for completion and handover.

I have found this structure for my year very useful. Some years things start badly. If the year started badly for you, you need to regroup and start again. Ideally by April, you can get things back  on track and  with some hard work, make up some ground for your schedule.

I have learned this: A year must be built not just responded to. Not just endured.

Once you have set goals and laid plans then you must act, implement, and keep working hard until you achieve results. Results will come. With this structure, results will come.

It is rare to find an individual who is enjoying sustained success in business and life, who has not done significant work on themselves to clarify their business vision, to ensure they have strong values that ground them in life, and strong key relationships that hold them in the tough times.

Not many of us see ourselves clearly enough to solve our own issues.

I find that I need a coach to help draw the best thinking out of me. If this article raises issues for you then can I suggest you reach out for a conversation. I love to help business owners think about how they can build a successful business that enables them to create a great lifestyle for themselves and their family.

If you’ve got a level of success already, there will be things you already have achieved that you can leverage. I can help you develop those things that will enable you to have more time to create a great life. Your business can go even better with you doing less in it. I can help you to become one of those relatively rare individuals who do discover the freedom, flexibility, and fulfilment you were looking for when you first started your business.

To book a free consultation with John click here

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