Personality types and planning; what makes you do what you do?

Which best describes you?

  • “Here’s exactly what’s going to happen” planner
  • “This might work” planner
  • “I’m not sure about this bit” planner
  • “Let’s all get together to make a plan” planner
  • “I’ll plan a bit and leave the rest to the universe” planner
  • “Let’s just see what happens” planner
  • “Can someone else do this, I’m too busy” planner
  • “Just tell me what you want and I’ll do it” planner
  • “I’ll get around to it later” planner
  • “I’ve never had a plan in my life, I’m not about to start now” non-planner
  • Something I haven’t even described here or a combination of others

We’re all different – and we seem to attract people into our lives who are our opposites – thank goodness! Imagine if we were all the same… Chaos would reign; there’d be no leaders and no followers OR there’d be fights breaking out amongst people who insist on doing it their way.

If you’ve ever been frustrated by the planning or non-planning processes of your boss or partner or work colleagues, it doesn’t mean they’re wrong it just means they do things differently to you.

And if you know a little bit about DISC profiling you’ll understand that there are 4 basic personalities:

The High “D” people are dominant and driving and want to be at the front of everything, but aren’t good when it comes to details.

They make a plan where they can change, fix or control things. They need the High “C” people to handle the details and High “I” people to explain it to the team.

The High “I” people are Influential and Inspiring.

They like to be at the centre of things with lots of people around them. These people will make plans to be “popular” and are also not particularly interested in details. They need High “D” people to dive parts of the project where it gets bogged down. And they need “S” people to steadily work away at all the tasks that need doing.

The High “S” people are steady and supportive.

These are the people who like to be given a plan rather than write one. They are very good at being cooperative supportive and agreeable. Plus, they can carry the plan forward and get things done. They need High “C” people to help with the details and the “I” people to keep them connected to the larger team and the “D” to the purpose.

The High “C” people are conscientious careful and compliant.

With rules to follow, their plan will be very detailed and precise. These people need High “S” individual to help them relax a little and go with the flow – and the “D” people to drive the plan forward. “I” people can help deliver the plan to the team without them getting overwhelmed.

Of course, we are not all of one thing, we are combinations of these personality profiles but we do have a dominant personality.

Ultimately your plan needs to be your plan if you’re in a solo business. If you are planning for others consider their personality profile. Ask them what they need in a plan to fully engage with it; how much detail; who does what; who leads what and what is the benefit of the plan to the whole team.

To find out more about DISC profiling and how it can be used in your team book a 15-minute call here.

Growing your business your business vs scaling your business – what’s your plan?

If you owned a corner grocery store before the invention of supermarkets you would probably have had a nice little business supporting you and your family.

Everyone would be working really hard in the store. You might pay yourself a minimum wage and the rest of the family might be working for “love”. You’d be open all hours including weekends. The ways to grow your business were limited to time, space and labour.

Everything was about personal service and growth was limited to what you could afford to stock, the space to stock it and the labour involved to serve the customers. There were tangible limits.

You would have been blown out of the water when the first supermarket opened up down the road!

They had a scalable system. They were bigger, brighter, had more variety, and operated on self-service and minimum staff at minimum wages. Then, they could afford to stock what you couldn’t and had a marketing budget to lure your customers away. They had systems and procedures for smooth running.

When you think about the difference between growing your business and scaling your business, it works like this…

Growing your business means you are adding more resources when you make more sales – you need more stock, more people, and more space. The increase in revenue is swallowed up by the increase in costs. It might look like you’re growing but technically you haven’t “scaled”.

Scaling your business means you’re adding revenue at an exponential rate without increasing your costs at the same rate. If it takes as much time energy and money to make the next sale as it did to make the previous sale, you haven’t scaled.

Think about Amazon:

They blew bookstores out of the water. Yes, you have to wait for the book if you want a hard copy, but you could get the book instantly at a fraction of the cost if you are happy to have an electronic copy – and at a fraction of the price.

They also thought about what people do when they buy books: people like to browse, read a few pages, have books recommended by the store owner, see reviews on the book jacket, and they like to take their time. Amazon noted all of this “buyer behaviour” and built it into their offering.

What can you learn from this?

  1. Growing your business happens incrementally. It suits some people but not others.
  2. Scaling a business can happen with a change in how you think – again not for everyone.
  3. Be alert for opportunities inside your business to scale rather than grow.
  4. The best businesses to scale are those that provide essential services that have a proven concept (people already buy) and they can be operated by fewer people and fewer overheads.
  5. Don’t scale a business that is a “fad” – it won’t last long enough to give you a return on your investment.

What do you think? Could your growing business be scaled?

Plan your way out of a Business slump

Before it was quoted in “Best Marigold Hotel” John Lennon said…

“Everything will be ok in the end. If it’s not ok, it’s not the end”

If you’re in a slump right now here are some proven strategies to help you climb out and get back on top…

Get pens and paper – you’ll need to plan it out and write this down by hand, not on your computer. Let your imagination run wild, no limits. Write, doodle and draw your way out of the slump.

  1. Work out exactly what the slump is and what’s causing it
    • Have you lost your Mojo? Are you bored with your business and need a new direction?
    • Are you in financial stress – are you making more than you are spending or is there something else worrying you? Do you have enough customers?
    • Is it a market trend or industry trend? Is it affecting all businesses or just yours / your industry?
  2. Once you’ve identified the cause of the slump, you can start to find solutions. Never slip into the mindset of making “everything” to blame.
    • If you’ve lost your Mojo – what would need to happen for you to get it back? A new project, new direction, new products /services? Do you have someone to talk to – a coach or mentor or clued-up friend?
    • If money is the problem, sit down with your accountant or someone very money-savvy to get a true and accurate picture of what’s happening. Set a budget and set financial projections for income. Include the actual strategies you need to work through to fix the finances.
    • If it’s a “trend” in your industry – decide if it’s a fatal trend or just a blip on the radar. Do you have the strength to work through it? Again, brainstorm solutions with a trusted adviser. You won’t have all the answers locked up in your own head.
  3. The most important thing to do right now takes the emotion out of it. Things don’t stay the same… you haven’t reached the end yet. Stay in the present as much as you can… focus on what is in the “now” and what you can do in this moment to feel better and more positive about the slump.
  4. And if you feel you can’t do anything right now in this moment, accept that you can’t. That doesn’t mean that you won’t tomorrow. Be nice to yourself and take a breather even if for a short time. Your brain will thank you for the rest and will work on finding solutions instead of you forcing your way through. If it feels like walking through treacle, stop! Back out!
  5. After all your brainstorming, if you feel that this business is not right for you, you don’t have to stay it in you know. Tweak it and adjust it if you can, but if your heart’s not in it, it’s OK to move on. Find a way out and set a new direction.

On a personal note, I’ve had 11 businesses over 35 years – not all of them were spectacularly successful so I changed them, molded them into something more enjoyable or sold them or closed them. That’s how I learned to be a business coach, only I didn’t know it at the time!

There are no failures, only learning opportunities.

If you need a hand with this – Try my Perfectly Simple Business Plan

There is no perfect plan, so now what?

Things won’t always go according to plan.

Sometimes unexpected things happen to throw you off the rails.

You could spend a lot of time and energy kicking and scream “it’s not fair”, “it’s not my fault”, “everything’s ruined” OR you could do it differently.

I was talking with a new client the other day who told me he’s scared to fail. He has high expectations of himself and was taught that failure is bad and you should always avoid failure.

We tossed the idea around for a while. I asked him about the things he’s done in his life that he considered successful. Did he know exactly what he was doing each time he set up a business or took on a new client, bought stock, employed people?

“No, I made some mistakes”. He said, “I had to learn how to do things.”

Failure is not what you think it is. There is no value judgment. It’s part of the learning process. When a baby starts to walk we don’t tell him he’s bad every time he falls down, we don’t stop him from getting up and trying again.

I watch my baby grandson mastering walking. He falls over a lot. He used to cry when he fell over, now he just picks himself up and accepts that the falling is all part of the learning.

So, when things aren’t going according to plan, what do you do? Fall over and never get up again?

I’d bet that you usually get up and give it another go or find another way.

Your first plan is just that. Usually a first rough draft of where you want to go and what you want to happen. You might not know it’s a rough draft. You may not have allowed for “Planned Spontaneity” – the things that are going to happen outside your tight control and “Planned Synchronicity” where things will happen in their own right time.

So, let them happen. Just because things aren’t going according to plan doesn’t mean disaster is about to strike. It just means something extraordinary is happening beyond your control. Sometimes you might not like what happens; don’t believe everything should be easy and fun. I’ve usually found that the most painful mistakes were my best lessons and often, years later, I learn why it happened.

Whenever I plan, I set my intention for what I want, being as specific as I can (because you have to be careful what you ask for – you just might get it!) When I’ve finished my plan I ask for the result I want then include… “or something better.” Oddly enough I usually get the “better” outcomes!

Give it a go. You have everything to gain.

Your Step by Step Business Plan Checklist

People think business plans are only for new businesses – and yes, they are a brilliant way to encapsulate all you want to achieve in your fledgling business, BUT even if you’ve been in business for 5, 10, 15, 20 years or more – a really good well thought-out strategic business plan is going to make the world of difference.

Why?

Because things change!

The market changes, the economy changes, fads come and go and your competitors are always nipping at your heels… just waiting for you to lose enthusiasm, drop the ball or put the blinkers on and pretend that it’s okay to do business in the same old way!

A really good business plan is a living document that you refer to regularly and update annually. It must light your entrepreneurial fire – otherwise you’ve got the wrong plan.

What goes into a basic business plan checklist?

  • MONEY: Start with the end in mind. How much revenue, how much profit, and how much do you want to pay yourself?
  • PRODUCTS, SERVICES: Are they staying the same or do you need to change course, cull or reinvent?
  • CUSTOMERS: Still the same target markets or do you need to drop some and entice others?
  • TEAM: Who are your best players? Do you need more like them and less of the ones who are dragging the business down? What training do they need this year?
  • MARKETING: When you know who your customers are you’ll find it much easier to design marketing strategies to attract and keep them. DON’T start your business plan with marketing – don’t even go there until you know what the money goals are and who your ideal customers would be.
  • SALES: Set some projections to achieve your financial goals. Do you need training to get better at sales? The answer is usually yes!
  • BUSINESS GROWTH: Premises, location, online, offline, new markets, new strategies or consolidation
  • WORKFLOW, POLICIES, PROCEDURES: What would make your business run more smoothly?
  • SPECIAL PROJECTS: The ones you’re itching to get to but never seem to find the time. Put it in the plan to get it done.
  • YOU: Are you working in your ideal Core Genius role? If not, what needs to change?
  • YOUR VISION: Why this, why now, why YOU!

Now you could sit and nut this out on your own – it may take you some time and your brain might go into overload and start arguing with you…

OR you could get it done in just one day at The Perfectly Simple Business Plan workshop

Your call.

I’m here when you need me.