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Planning As A Strength
When I first got into the development world I was an outsider, I didn’t have a background in coding. I was actually a marketer before I was a founder.
My business, MeetEdgar, was created with productivity in mind. What we do is help small business create social media updates for their best content and get that evergreen content back in front of new followers who missed it the first time through smart scheduling.
I’m a huge believer in being proactive instead of reactive in business. If you’re spending all your time putting out fires you’re never going to be able to truly move ahead and take on your most important goals. Our tool helps business owners do that by saving them time and automating their social media marketing.
A lot of business is actually quite intuitive and if you ask a businessperson how they’d solve a problem they’ll almost always come back with a viable answer. The trouble is executing on their solution and putting it into place in the real world. That’s why planning became so key for us with MeetEdgar.
Now that our company has grown to over 20 people we plan in teams, but this method still works when you’re flying solo. I tell my teams to looks for three “Big Rocks” each quarter.
Big Rocks are projects, initiatives, and in general the things that you want to get done. But Big Rocks are not just ordinary goals that are one size fits all.
Typically, a Big Rock isn’t a numerical metric like most goals are. We may have the goal of gaining 500 new customers in the quarter, but that wouldn’t be our Big Rock.Our Big Rock might be increasing our emails from once a week to twice a week. The key difference here is that the amount of emails we send is entirely within our control whereas the number of customers that sign up is not.
If we execute on our plan to send more emails and we wind up not hitting our new customer target, we failed to reach our goal, but we were successful in taking on our Big Rock.
At that point we would re-assess and make a new plan going forward. Ultimately, we can’t force a specific outcome but if we do our best to reverse engineer what we have control over then we have a fighting chance.
How To Decide On Your Big RocksWithin each department we look for what would improve the overall health of the company. It’s not necessarily the number one priority, but it’s the items that aren’t going to get accomplished if we don’t put an additional focus on them.
Recently, one of our Big Rocks was to hire a designer. Now we didn’t hold up day to day tasks until we hired a designer, we kept working.
Big Rocks are often the things you take on that grow you past your current status quo. They aren’t necessarily the most time and labor intensive projects, these can actually derail you from your core mission.
Look for places where you can spend a little extra effort, that have the potential to yield big impacts on your business. These are your top Big Rock candidates.
- Choose your Big Rocks based on what’s the best way to improve your company overall during the next quarter.
- Reverse engineer your goals so you’re measuring actions that are within your control.
- Review your performance regularly and course correct when you need to.
- Don’t stop your day to day tasks because of Big Rocks.
Result You Will Achieve
A method of achieving impactful results in your business by focusing on what you can control instead of metrics you can’t.
This article is based on an EHQ interview with the mentor.