Welcome to The Navigator, the new monthly newsletter from Eagle Corporate Advisors. We chose the “Navigator” name because we feel it is representative of the role we play with our business clients—steering them in the right direction, keeping them on the proper path and plotting course corrections, when necessary.
Our goal is to make this business newsletter a useful resource that entrepreneurs, C-level executives and other businesspeople will look forward to each month for suggestions, tips and tricks, news and other helpful information at a glance.
The Navigator is designed to be interactive. It will work best when our readers are fully engaged. We encourage you to submit ideas, opinions and other relevant feedback for discussion in future issues.
Thank you for your time and attention. We look forward to embarking on this journey together.
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.
The second best time is now.”
– Chinese Proverb
A basic management function involving formulation of one or more detailed plans to achieve optimum balance of needs or demands with the available resources. The planning process*:
- identifies the goals or objectives to be achieved,
- formulates strategies to achieve them,
- arranges or creates the means required
- implements, directs, and monitors all steps in their proper sequence.
Planning can be a scary word for many business owners. After all, it never takes place in a vacuum. We need to consider and monitor the many outside forces over which we have little or no control: the local, national and international economy; political decisions; changes to laws and regulations; the arrival of new competitors; even the outbreak of a regional conflict half a world away. All of us, even those who do this for a living, are staring into crystal balls that are cloudy at best. And yet, an imperfect plan is far better than no plan at all.
In order to plan properly, a written strategic plan should be developed that includes the Vision, Mission, Values, Objectives, Strategies, Tactics, Actions and Tasks. Each of these levels of planning is necessary to be effective and to be able to implement the plan successfully. The plan needs to be created with your entire executive team in order to obtain buy-in and alignment with the individuals and departments that will be taking the steps to fulfill the plan.
When facilitating the planning process, typically done by an outside facilitator like ECA, several questions must be asked of the team. Who will be involved? What is the current status of the situation or organization? What are we going to do and why? When will the plan and activities start and end? How will we measure our success? Where will the planning take place? How will we accomplish the tasks, actions, tactics, strategies and objectives? What resources are available?
The Army Handbook of 1973 addresses two key questions that must be asked when planning:
-What are all the ingredients necessary for its successful execution?
-What are all the possible forces or events that could hinder or destroy it?
Too often, when ideas or plans are conceived, they are not clearly written out with specific timelines or accountability assignments, and rarely are the potential obstacles stated and how these might be overcome during the planning process.
If you’ve put off your business planning until now, it’s not too late. If you’re feeling hesitant or overwhelmed, feel free to reach out any time. A simple conversation might be all it takes to put you on the path to performing higher.
Step 1: Assess
Entrepreneurship, much like life itself, is a journey that begins with a single step. In fact, for most business owners, the line between the professional and personal is virtually nonexistent. So where to start?
At Eagle Corporate Advisors, we highly recommend beginning with an assessment of your current position, essentially a comprehensive analysis of all factors to show you where you are today before making decisions which may impact your short term and long-term strategies. You can’t map out where you’re going until you determine where you are.
The assessment covers your business position and personal goals from objective and subjective standpoints. From the personal perspective, it may begin with the simple question, “What does success mean to me?” Is it money in the bank, peace of mind, work/life balance, becoming the major player in your market category, leaving a lasting legacy? All of the above? There are no wrong or right answers, only ones that are meaningful to you. From the business perspective, it may begin with the question, “Do we have a written strategic plan?” Has the plan been communicated and adopted by everyone in the company? Who is responsible for achieving each portion of the plan? Who is going to ensure we stay focused when the phone rings or the next potential customer asks for services outside of your plans? In our February issue, we’ll address the next step on your path to personal, financial and emotional freedom.
Chuck Mohler has more than 25 years’ experience in business. As president and founder of Eagle Corporate Advisors, he uses his vast experience and broad knowledge base to assist business professionals who realize they can’t always know and do it all.
So is Chuck an “advisor,” a “coach” or a “mentor”? People often use the terms interchangeably, but they have distinct meanings.
An “advisor” is an individual with a particular background and skillset that is similar to yours, but has “been there, done that,” and is eager to share their hard-won lessons with you to help you become smarter.
A “coach,” similar to those in the world of sports, helps you address specific challenges, except this time in the business arena. They guide you through the rough spots and help you improve the areas that may need a little more practice or refinement to become the best in your industry.
A “mentor” is not only capable of teaching and training you for business success, he or she also helps you become a better person and cares that you have success in your overall life. They really listen with the trust, respect and confidence needed for lasting commitment.
So what role does Chuck serve? He is well equipped to be an advisor, coach, or mentor, but his long-time clients know he strives to be their mentor from day one.
For more information, please visit eaglecorporateadvisors.com.