Execution is the battleground that determines success or failure.
For ad agencies that even have a new business plan, the majority fall short in its implementation.
How many annual planning meetings has your agency gone through to create a strategic marketing plan, only to have it fail in its implementation? Maybe this year, instead of focusing so much attention on the plan, use annual planning to create a dynamic process for execution.
Experience has taught me that successfully executing a new business strategy requires a system. You need detailed methods, procedures and routines for consistency and success in new business.
Here are some practical tips for creating a system for new business:
- Make ONE person responsible. You will need the right person in place to oversee the process. Someone who has focus, determination and consistency. These are the attributes required for new business success.
- Convert your strategic plan into a game plan that includes Milestone Dates, To Do Lists, Resources, Assignments, etc.
- Set goals and objectives that stretch your agency but are reasonably attainable and measurable.
- Determine what is needed to achieve your priorities such as people, funding, equipment, space, training/development, etc.
- Get organized. Use a program such as Basecamp, an excellent, inexpensive online project management tool to help in the implementation process.
- Just start. A lot of time can be wasted if you don’t start somewhere. Identify and focus on the first step. Once you get started, it’s much easier to keep going. Also remember to keep it simple and don’t over think things.
- Based on your tasks, create a must-work-week schedule. Arrange your work week priorities ahead of time. “If you don’t control your schedule, someone else will.”
- Monitor and report progress. Unless there is an ongoing process for evaluating execution, making decisions about it and closing the loop with the original strategy, the effort fails.
- Be prepared to make changes. This is not an exercise in perfection. I love the Mike Tyson quote, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” Plans give you a road map to your goals, but you have to be ready to make adjustments. Every plan will have obstacles, but don’t abandon your strategy at the first challenge. Instead, create “work-around” solutions, even if they are temporary. This will allow you to keep the process moving. Don’t let anything stop the implementation process.
Business development doesn’t have to be so difficult. With a little forethought and the creation of simple steps and procedures, you can create systems that will make it much easier.
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If you’d like to learn more, please email me at email@example.com, I’d be glad to send an overview of my program, A New Approach to New Business, that includes pricing and references.
photo credit: Amaury Laporte Battle of Gettysburg Cyclorama by Paul Philippoteaux 4 via photopin (license)