WHAT: Vision Statement

Do you have a written Vision Statement to which key employees have contributed and that is understood by all your staff?

Clear purpose underpins motivation and productivity and is necessary for delegation of accountability. It provides context for organisational and individual objectives. Employees must be involved in defining this in order to embrace it.

WHAT: Marketing Story

Do you have a clear Marketing Story that is explicit in your marketing and sales collateral and processes and understood by all your staff?

A clear focus on a defined niche, their pain and your better solution underpins effective marketing, sales and service delivery and needs to be understood by all staff.

WHAT: One-page Strategy

Do you have a written One-page Strategy that sets out how you are going to achieve your vision? Have key employees contributed to this and is it understood by all your staff?

A simple, effective competitive strategy is the basis for your business plan. It tells employees what you are good at, how you will beat the competition and what milestones the organisation will achieve on the way.

WHO: Delegation Plan

Do you have a Delegation Plan that identifies how, when and to whom you are going to delegate everything that you do?

Making your business scalable means removing its reliance on you and getting things done through other people. Successful delegation requires a plan and a process.

WHO: Organisation Chart

Do you have a published Organisation Chart that reflects the key activities of the business and actual responsibilities, authority and reporting lines?

Clear boundaries and ownership are essential if you want your employees to become more accountable for results. Creating an orgchart forces you to deal with the ambiguity that undermines this.

WHO: Job Descriptions

Do your employees have up-to-date, written and agreed Job Descriptions that focus on measurable outcomes?

Creating and agreeing job descriptions is an essential part of making employees more accountable for results. To be useful, job descriptions must focus on measurable outcomes.

WHO: Employee Objectives

Do your employees all have written and agreed Objectives that have binary or quantified targets, a timescale and an effective measurement system?

Business objectives are achieved by people. Every strategic objective and KPI must be owned by someone and they must have understood and accepted the target in order to be committed to achieving it.

WHEN: Budget

Do you have a Budget for the next 12 months that includes profit and loss, cash flow and a narrative that explains any deviation from previous performance and links to your strategy?

Your business plan turns your strategy into action. In order to manage business performance you must have a plan that you are trying to follow.

WHEN: Sales Plan

Do you have a written Sales Plan that includes assigned sales targets that add up to more than the gross profit from sales set out in your business plan?

In order to manage sales performance and achieve your business plan you need sales targets assigned to individuals who have accepted these targets. These targets are also required to create your Marketing Plan.

WHEN: Marketing Plan

Do you have a written Marketing Plan that sets out marketing targets and a schedule of the activities necessary to achieve them?

In order to achieve your sales targets you need to take a planned and consistent approach to marketing. Having a schedule for all marketing activities and understanding the results that you expect from each will produce better results than a scatter-gun or reactive approach.

WHEN: Service Plan

Do you have a written Service Plan that defines the resources you require to deliver the business plan, the productivity and utilisation assumptions you are making and how you measure success from the customer perspective?

Planning for and managing operational efficiency drives profitability. Measuring customer-perspective operational KPIs makes your market positioning and competitive strategy real.

HOW: Operating Manual

Do you have an Operating Manual for the business? Does it include process definitions, checklists and guidance on how to carry out all business-critical activities?

Sustainable, profitable growth requires consistently good outcomes for customers. This requires repeatable, high-quality processes throughout your business. This means they have to be documented.

HOW: KPI Sheet

Do you have a KPI Sheet (or Live Plan) for the organisation that records actual financial and non-financial KPI performance for the last 12 months and sets targets for the next 12 months?

This is the dashboard for your business. It brings together your financial, marketing, sales and service KPIs in one place so that you can delegate the running of the business but remain in control.

HOW: Monthly Management Meetings

Do you run Monthly Management Reviews where you and your management team use the Live Plan to steer the business?

This allows you to manage delegated accountability, control your business efficiently and develop your management team and future leaders.