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What’s ahead for your Business in 2011?

Guest post from the C12 Group - As we approach year-end in our businesses, we specifically want to do two things: (1) encourage you as you look towards the next year and (2) exhort you to think strategically about 2011.

Let’s begin by remembering that our God is sovereign, awesome and limitless!  Sure, 2010 has been a very difficult year, at least economically, for many of us.  Further, there remain many troubling unknowns as we attempt to peer into 2011.  Of course this is always true, as even life itself is uncertain, but our God doesn’t change and He isn’t surprised or limited by economic circumstances.  Further, He knew precisely that things would be as they are when He chose to call us in our current places, roles, and at this very time, as His Ambassadors!  Remember… He will always provide all we need to do all He wants, so be of good cheer!  Press on!  If you’re in Christ, you’re in good hands!

Second, this time of the year tends to be a bit slower for those of us not in the retail trade and it’s a great time for thinking strategically and planfully about the year soon to begin.  The value of stepping back to think strategically about our businesses really can’t be overestimated.  Even in fast-changing markets where 5-year plans seem unimaginable, a solid plan for the next year that’s owned by the entire team and reflects sound information and assumptions is a priceless baseline.  In a time when so few plan, and so many simply just react, taking the time to reflect even on just a handful of the basic and critical elements of our business can pay huge dividends.

In our C12 group meetings, we offer each member the annual opportunity to present their life and company’s situation and to share their business plan with their peers for critical review and input.  The group acts as a council of advisors.  As a trustworthy personal board, fellow members give extremely thoughtful and valuable feedback to the presenting member, reflecting their collective experience and godly wisdom.  Many millions of dollars are gained or saved every year through this process in C12 groups across America.

You may not currently be a C12 Group member or have a group of trustworthy peer advisors with whom you can bounce issues and ideas around.  This resource is certainly valuable in its own right, but C12 members are also greatly helped by simply being intentional in taking the steps necessary to prepare to engage their peers.  C12 members tell us that properly defining and framing the issues, problems and opportunities is a huge value to them and helps to tee-up key questions and alternative solutions as a part of the presentation process.  Just thinking through how they will present and defend their key issues and plans is a powerfully beneficial practice.

Imagine that you’ll be presenting your answers for peer-review as you think through the following key questions:

§  Given where you are as 2010 closes, where do you want to be a year from now?
§  What has to change for this to happen?  Increase sales?  Cut costs?  Grow margin?  New product(s)?  Remove internal stumbling blocks and obstacles?  How?
§  Do you currently have the right people in the right seats to enable this to happen?

Obviously, there are many more important issues and details related to these broad questions.  But for most of us, a small upfront investment of time and effort here can net real gain.  A brief, but well thought-out, plan is exponentially better than no plan at all.  The reality is that if we don’t change our direction, we’re likely to end up where we’re heading! 

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posted by Justin Forman | 12.10.2010 - 5:55 AM

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