The annual conference emphasized the importance of a good plan and retaining employees and customers.
Photo: Marty Grunder, Matt Caruso and Joe Calloway participate in a panel discussion.
DAYTON, Ohio – All planning is good planning. That was one of the key messages Marty Grunder and the speakers at GROW! 2012 emphasized during the three-day event that helped businesses get on a track for growth this year.
More than 100 business owners and managers packed a hotel ballroom in Dayton, Ohio, to hear and learn from Grunder, author and consultant Joe Calloway, Decra-Scape CEO Matt Caruso, and the author and international speaker, also known as The Pitbull of Personal Development, Larry Winget. Among the topics covered were hiring, keeping good employees, sales, customer service and efficiency.
Grunder presented a session on the elements of a good plan. As general business rules, he said, all planning is good, all planning should start with the end in mind and it should involve key company people in the process so that they’re engaged and stay engaged.
Here are the 7 steps to a good plan:
- Conduct S.W.O.T. analysis. The group should start by listing the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. “This is the basis for your plan,” Grunder said. “The S.W.O.T. analysis helps you define reality, the way things are, and helps you think toward the desired outcomes that you want.” He also said it’s important to use an outside facilitator who can present different options and question ideas.
- Rank each S.W.O.T. Take each list – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats – and rank the ideas mentioned under each category based on their level of importance to the company. “This can be one of the most exciting, exhilarating, energizing efforts you can take yourself through,” he said.
- Lay out the priorities. After ranking the S.W.O.T. ideas, decide which ones should be the company’s priorities.
- Discuss a win statement. Take the priorities and discuss a win statement for each one, basically a strategy for how to achieve that priority. For example, if the goal is to increase customer referrals, define how much the increase should be and how to go about doing it.
- Set a vision. “Vision is where we’re going,” Grunder said. “Vision is what you would like someone to recognize your company for.” Develop the vision based on the company’s S.W.O.T. analysis and remember that a vision is never finished, it’s constantly being analyzed and evolving.
- Set a mission. In simple terms, “What we’re going to do on a daily basis to achieve our vision,” Grunder said.
- Set core values. The group should ask: What are the ideas and values that will help the company achieve all of the above? Grunder Landscaping operates on the four values of quality, leadership, teamwork and profitability. He said to pick four to six values that will make an impact on your company, and then once those are set constantly reinforce them.
A planning meeting that involves these steps helps open the eyes of top management because there is an ability to step back from day-to-day work and focus on the company’s future. “Good ideas tend to not come to us when we’re fully engaged in work,” he said.
Look for more from GROW! in an upcoming issue of Lawn & Landscape.