In this blog I share with you how making an awful golf shot can help you to grow your IT business and also help you to get a plan together that will increase your revenue.
Like in any business, any improvements to performance takes deliberate and focused effort and to support that you need a clear plan, structure and more importantly you need to implement it.
It all started with a game of golf with my Dad.
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of taking time out from business and playing golf with my dad, which we aim to do on a regular basis.
Neither of us plays particularly well, although I did managed to get to a handicap of 13 a few years ago.
It was a lovely autumn day, the sun was shining, we could hear the birds in the trees, the rain had held off and we were having a relaxing time until I hit this shot (featured in the photo above).
Suddenly, I ended up with this view of the pin!
As you can see, I couldn’t see the fairway or the green as I was in a 15ft deep dip and instantly started to think, how on earth I was going to get out of this mess.
It made me think of my approach when I started of playing golf. I would have reached for my 3 wood (big club) and just hit the ball as hard as I could! And it would probably have gone a total of about 3 feet.
But I now know that this is not the right thing to do, as any decent golfer knows about a boring thing called ‘Course Management’.
This is where you plan out your shots strategically to enable you to play the hole in as few shots as possible.
All because you effectively reduce any risks (trees, bunkers, 15 ft. deep holes!) by playing around them.
So, I took my medicine and chipped it out of the hole and onto the fairway. I then re-assessed my game plan and lined up my next shot.
Afterwards started to think about how similar this situation was to any kind of plan.
What’s this got to do with Business?
Whether it be in your personal or business life. Every plan needs a VISION, you need to see where you are going! Especially when you want to grow your IT Business.
What do I mean by personal vision? Personal vision is like setting your own life compass and which direction you want to go in. You need to understand what YOU are trying to achieve for your family and for your home life.
This includes attainment of wealth, health and happiness.
And as for business, to be successful and sustainable then every business also needs a vision and this needs to be shared and communicated with your teams.
The important thing about the business vision is that invariably, it will be the business side of life that will enable you to afford the things you set out for in your personal life.
If you just carry on doing the same things at work every year, year after year, you are going to get the same results.
Remember that any progress and growth is planned and as the saying goes, ”If you always do what you have always done then you will always get what you have always got”.
Particularly with many IT and tech business owners that I come onto contact with, they are originally the main technical one in the business.
They are the ones who drive tasks and actions forward and are normally focused around technology and doing stuff, rather than any business growth planning.
The reason for this is because this is where you feel most comfortable, but technology alone cannot grow your IT and tech business, there needs to be a clear personal and business vision that aligns with measurable goals and targets.
This can be tricky to get your head around, but don’t worry because help is at hand, as this is what I do daily.
Most of my work is based around helping IT and tech business owners to gain confidence in their business by teaching them my tried and tested growth strategies while helping you to grow your IT Business.
Today, I have broken down 5 key points that will help you, when implemented correctly, I believe has the potential to help you increase your revenue by at least 25% over the next 90 days.
1.Set up your business plan and vision.
Focus on what you want to achieve in your business in the next 2/3 years.
Stretch your mind and be ambitious in your goal and target setting. How much do you want to increase your revenue by? What does your profit margin look like? How many new customers are you looking to acquire? What type of customers are they? How many employees are you going to need to achieve this and what functions are they going to carry out? Set your plan out and make it challenging rather than an easy to achieve targets.
2. Create your 12 month look ahead.
Once you have your 2/3 year plan nice and clear, then let’s look at what we need to do in the next 12 months.
What key activities do we need to do more of and what do we need to do less of to achieve our new 12 months’ goal? Once you have these clearly broken into disciplines¾such as lead generation, sales, delivery and customer service¾ then break them down then into 4 quarters¾smaller bite size chunks.
3. Assess your current team
Now you know what you need to achieve over the next year, let’s have a look at your team and assess if we need to make any changes.
Can your current team and structure help you achieve those new goals that you have just set or do you need to make some changes? Remember that external contractors are also part of your team. Recruiting in the tech space can be particularly difficult because you are always relying on people’s opinions and written results regarding individual performance rather than demonstrable evidence. You may be better off bringing in a new apprentice and training them yourselves. Look at your 12 month plan, draw out your structure, note down the critical lines in terms of key people, work out which teams support and develop a people plan that will support your new vision and goals.
4. Assign accountability to key people.
Now you have your vision, you have your 2/3 year plan, your 12 month plan and your people in place, we now need to make sure that they know what they are doing and deliver for us. It needs to be clear on who is doing what? Who reports to whom? Etc., etc. Many businesses will fail quite simply because they don’t assign targets and accountability correctly to the individuals.
At the end of the day, there’s an expectation exchange of business, you come to work, and I’ll pay you money. If we don’t get the deliverables and accountability set up correctly then your people will revert to the things that they want to do rather than what you NEED them to do.
5. Create weekly check points.
What gets measured gets done! Now we have the foundation of your new plan, we need to make sure that we deliver on the tasks to help us achieve the targets. At the end of the day, ‘What gets measured gets done’ and ‘What gets measured and reported then grows exponentially’. Now we need to put in a regular set of reports and checkpoints/scorecards to ensure that we keep on track, and that individuals are delivering and smashing those newly set targets. Book in regular 1:1s with your key players and help them understand their own new role and purpose and how this links into the overall business growth plan. Just make sure you start off with bite-size chunks, otherwise you will put the whole team into overwhelm.
In summary, scaling an IT or tech business can be challenging and it is even harder when you don’t have a structure and measured plan that includes the right people around you to help you support your vision.
Without this, you will struggle to achieve your new business goals and vision and in return you will never achieve your personal goals set out in that vision as well.
At Innovate to Success, we help IT and tech businesses to scale (we don’t generally use golf as one of our key strategies, although I am always open to offers!)
We strongly believe that if you feel that you are in a HOLE, then you are! And if you want to get out and increase your business growth by 25% in the next 90 days then implement these 5 key strategies to clear your way ahead.
Personal and Business vision sits under the Personal Development section of the Drive for Business Model and you can check out more content on this subject on this specific page.
Alternatively, we have a group on LinkedIn call the IT Experts Growth Academy where we share premium content.
If you have any specific challenges while learning how to grow your IT Business, then we can also organise a call by messaging me and connecting directly on LinkedIn or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All the best and let me know how you get on with the strategies in this blog.
Until next time,
Ian “need a golf lesson” Luckett