Saturday, January 31, 2009

Writing a Long Range Plan - Part II

Part I of this project talked about Listing your goals, figuring out your Actions, and looking at your Resources.

In Part II, we'll need to Prioritize our goals, and form an Timetable.

First, we need to go through our list of goals and assign each a Priority, either HIGH, MEDIUM or LOW (I found that I needed an in-between "grade," so I included MEDIUM-HIGH and MEDIUM-LOW.)

To help in choosing your Priority level, keep in mind three major criteria:

1- Impact. Ask yourself: to what extent will implementing a specific action improve my business? How great is the immediate impact and what is the possibility of implementing it? The greater the impact of an action, the higher its priority.

2- Feasibility. Actions vary in the amount of time and resources required. Some things can easily be accomplished (like my light box), while others could be called a pipe dream (like adding a room to the house for a new workshop!) Other factors to consider include expertise, monetary restrictions, and changing your routines. The greater the feasilibility, the higher its priority.

3- Urgency. An action may be considered urgent if waiting to implement it would cause further problems, or missing an opportunity (like taking a special class or workshop.) Those actions requiring immediate implementation should be given the highest priority.

For example, let's look at my goal #8 again:

Build a light box and take new pics of my jewelry.
  • 1- Impact = HIGH I will get better photographs, and images are important for online sales. This is also an easy thing to accomplish.
  • 2- Feasibility = MEDIUM/HIGH It's not going to take much expertise or expense. It will just take a lot of time.
  • 3- Urgency = MEDIUM/HIGH. I could actually do this anytime. I have photographs already taken, but additional sales might result from better images.
So I’ll rate the Priority for goal #8 as MEDIUM/HIGH.

Go through your list of goals, and figure out the Priority level for each one. I decided to use a table to do this (see right), because your list can get a bit messy.

And I love making tables.

You can also use a spreadsheet if you want or write it out on paper.

This is a very interesting exercise. Hopefully, you can look at things objectively, and see what you really need to do, as opposed to what you want to do. Right now, money is tight for me, so a lot of things I'd love to do, I'll put off. Things that take time and energy should go to the top of my list.

Since I want to end up with a Timetable for my Long Range Plan, I typed up a one page list of goals and laid out my yearly plan. The year 2009 includes only my HIGH Priority goals. These tasks need to be completed by the end of this year. My MEDIUM HIGH/MEDIUM goals will be for years 2010-2011. MEDIUM/LOW and LOW Priority goals, will get the years 2012 & 2013.

Many of you will complete all your goals for 2009 this year. If you do, I suggest moving on to next year's goals. Since I have only three HIGH priority goals, I think I can do that! When January 2010 rolls around, see how many items you've completed, and move any uncompleted goals from 2009 to 2010. You can also add other goals you didn’t think of, into the mix, or wait until the end of 2013 to start all over again.

This is a lot of fun to look back on, as time goes on. And please tell me if you use this, or have any questions. I'd love to help, if I can!


NICO Designs said...

You're so organized! My husband would love you and your tidiness:)

AlteredGypsy said...

I NEED to read this word-for-word! Thank you for posting all this great information.

The EC Top Droppers, card drops, ad, organic clicks...etc. Statistics button (on the right, after you log into Entrecard).

Rose Works Jewelry said...

Go Deb go!

TiLT said...

wow - awesome layout...I may have to play around with this one for me :)

Christina said...

Totally off topic..... But I am here to express my thanks for being my # 3 dropper at EC. I added you to a special blog roll!

BeadedTail said...

Organization is one of my top priorities but lack of time seems to get in the way. I'm working on it and this post certainly inspired me and taught me better ways to do so. Thanks for sharing!

rockcreekcreations said...

Very Nice! and something good to think about! I think I have to get my web presence spreadsheet out and start a new sheet, goals. Off to read part one!

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