I have been exploring real estate properties in preparation of making a move and was surprised at the amount of obvious do-it-yourself, “DIY-work” I saw in a home I recently toured. I am all for the idea of doing things yourself up to a point, but one homeowner’s attempt to save a few bucks and skimp on hiring professionals to upgrade their house has not saved, but actually cost them money. The home is still on the market well-over 100 days. Unfortunately, I see the same mistakes with businesses who attempt to DIY their Annual Business Planning. Here are three reasons to consider hiring a professional to facilitate your company’s Annual Planning Meeting or Retreat.
- Protect your investment – in addition to money, TIME is also a vital resource. A professional facilitator helps the business owner, management team, and employees stay focused on what really matters. By providing a structure and leading the participants through the process, the facilitator helps the team accomplish more in a defined amount of time and avoid side-tracked agendas and off-topic conversations.
- Involve Employees – An outside, objective facilitator will create a safe space for authentic input and will make sure everyone is heard from. Your employees are your greatest asset, so it’s important to listen to what they have to say and to create an atmosphere where everyone is empowered to contribute. Involving and listening to your team is one way to foster loyalty and employee retention. One of the many roles that I play as a facilitator is to walk the line between constructive participation and a full-out gripe session. It’s important to focus on encouraging team members to be heard, while maintaining company morale and having some fun along the way.
- Accountability to Get It Done – Don’t let your ideas and goals die on the vine. Remember this strategic plan is not just a wish list, but a plan of action for growth. One of my favorite parts of working with business owners and teams is helping them ACCOMPLISH what they envision. With actionable plans, measurable steps, and assignments to team members, you will create momentum and commitment to actually Get There! If your employees have helped create it, they have buy-in and a vested interest in achieving.
One last tip when writing your business plan: Keep It Simple! There is no need to have a huge binder that just lives on a shelf somewhere. It’s more important to have a workable plan that is relevant and reviewed regularly. A professional coach or facilitator helps focus your plan on what really matters with actionable steps to get there.
Kim Ellet is a certified professional coach and owner of The Growth Coach of Metro Atlanta. She finds joy in helping successful leaders committed to continuous improvement, be more of who they are, dream bigger dreams, and accomplish more than they realized was possible. www.TheGrowthCoachATL.com