The One Piece Of Planning You Need To Do To Smash Your 2016 Goals
So after a busy Christmas and a probably not so busy January, it’s time to reflect on what went well in 2015, to figure out what you need to do differently to increase your profits in 2016.
As a hospitality consultant, I‘ve spoken with hundreds of businesses owners who run pubs, restaurants, hotels, and bars. I used to be in the business too so I’ve seen this dilemma first hand…
As you know, hospitality has peaks and troughs – Christmas and New Year tend to be amongst the biggest spikes. And when you’re booked-out and overflowing with trade, you can feel optimistic. But these peak times are often followed by weeks – even months – of slow trade. Empty rooms, fewer people propping up the bar, low bookings for your new menu… It can put you under a lot of pressure.
But it needn’t be that way…
There are simple tactics, techniques, and mindset shifts you can implement to grow your business, double your profits, and give you back your time – so you no longer feel like a slave to your venue.
The early part of 2016 is the perfect time to kick-start some highly profitable changes in your business – and it all starts with one piece of planning… your business plan.
But before you think you’ve already got that task covered, WAIT.
The plan I’m talking about will become indispensible because it’s designed to help you deliver the results you really want this year.
Let me explain…
Your map to get over the mountain
As you know, your business and the sector in which you work in is constantly changing. The most successful bars, restaurants, and hotels have the flexibility to adapt and evolve. They plan and implement strategies that keep their venue interesting and relevant.
A good business plan should give you direction. It’s not a tool to only use when you’re starting out and then to leave to gather dust. What’s more, writing a business plan needn’t to be a frustrating activity that you feel obliged to do to seduce your bank manager or your investors.
Instead, your business plan should help focus your efforts, give you clarity on what’s important, and serve as a map to get you over the mountain. After all, you have stretching goals this year – and you’re serious about achieving them, aren’t you?
When I talk about a business plan of course you need financial projections and cash flow forecasts. But in addition your plan should be created to prove to yourself that you’re nimble, agile and ready to take on the world!
Think about mission, culture, leadership, competitor analysis, marketing plans, pricing reviews, operational reviews, milestones, projected profit and loss, risk analysis and plans for dealing with set backs and unforeseen obstacles.
In addition, your plan should contain targets and procedures – along with a workable dashboard to tell you how you’re flying your plane and warn you if you’re heading off course.
I’m a big fan of cricket, but the game would be meaningless without the scoreboard. You must know how you’re doing and how you’re performing. You need to give yourself those early warning signs. Guesswork and assumptions mean you’re operating blind – and that’s a sure-fire way to a crash.
Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.” So what are you planning to do this year?
The essential elements of your 2016 hospitality business plan
I know you’re up to your eyes in it, but this task is so important that I encourage you to schedule out half a day (or at least a couple hours) of uninterrupted thinking time to get your plan into shape.
Remember, this plan is for YOU.
You don’t need to share it with anyone (although there will be key players in your business who will benefit from knowing what you’re up to). So don’t stress over the quality of the writing. Instead focus on getting the ideas out of your head and onto paper.
Give yourself clarity over what you will do in the next 12 months to get closer to the business you always dreamed of running.
Here are some top-level questions to think about:
Your start point is to understand where you are. So take stock of 2015:
- What went well and what wasn’t so great?
- What new things did you try that you want to explore further?
- What’s changed in your market place that needs your response?
- Are your business objectives still relevant – if not, what are your objectives for the coming year?
- What about your culture and your mission – do they still reflect what you’re aiming to achieve?
- What do you want to achieve this year in terms of sales and profits?
- What do you want to achieve in your personal life (as a business owner, your venue should serve as a vehicle to give you the things you want at home – for example, more downtime, a holiday, time to enjoy your favourite hobby etc.)
What changes do you need to make to your leadership and staff team to succeed in your objective and achieve your goals?
- Do you need more staff?
- Do you need to adjust shift patterns?
- Is any training required?
- Could you bring in new skills to help achieve an objective?
- Who is your target audience? [If you haven’t already done so, get clear on your customer avatar – so you know who you want to attract to your business.]
- What are you up against? Who is your competition (both direct and indirect)?
- What are your strategies for attracting new business? Do you need to learn more about marketing and explore some fresh ideas to really ramp up your efforts and your results?
- Cash flow
- What are your projected sales targets, profits, and costs?
- How will this be reflected in your cash flow each and every month?
- What big spends will be necessary this year and how will you pay for them?
- What will you do if you don’t do things on time and to budget?
- What are the threats to your business this year and how can you minimise these risks?
- What key milestones do you need to hit to achieve your goals?
- What are your contingency plans for 2016?
Want more ideas and resources like this?
When you have the ‘hospitality gene’ in abundance, it can be frustrating to not have a business that’s giving you the lifestyle you want. I know many hospitality entrepreneurs feel like a slave to their business. Nothing happens if you’re not there and whilst you might own a venue your personal income is more aligned with a low-paid job – and you’ve got all the risk.
I know it doesn’t need to be this way…
So in 2016, I’m committed to helping hospitality entrepreneurs – just like you – double their profits. To achieve this I’ve just launched www.hospitalityentrepreneur.com , a brand new membership site – created exclusively for hospitality entrepreneurs – that’s chock-full of useful resources to help you make serious progress.
So if you’re up for a brilliant year with big breakthroughs and lots of success, I encourage you to check out www.hospitalityentrepreneur.com
I hope to see you on the other side 🙂