How to progress your business


If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.
Steve Jobs

The point of departure with this article is that you have already developed an empowering vision and crystal clear mission statement for your business. (If not, read this article)

With these strategic elements intact, we will focus on the current reality of the elements which all have a bearing on the realisation of the strategic goals of the business.

  • The financial state of my business:
    • What is the gap between the current financial indicators (turnover, profit and cost) and the financial growth targets of my business?
  • Target market:
    • Do we have a clearly defined target market? Do we know how many of these clients do we need on our books and what the sales value per client should be to realise our financial objectives?
  • Value proposition:
    • Is our product and service offer meeting the needs and requirements of our target market?
  • Employees:
    • Is our employees fully skilled and capable to service our clients?
  • Service delivery:
    • Is there a culture of service excellence vested in the “DNA” of my business? Do I lead front the front? Do I have proof of this?
  • Competitors:
    • Do I know enough about my competitors to counter their offerings in the market place?
  • IT
    • Is my IT infrastructure optimal to support the execution of my business strategy?
  • Networks:
    • Are we using the access which our trusted and vested business networks can give us to potential clients?
  • Community:
    • Are we giving back to the community which supports our business?

Note: This is in no means a complete list, but merely to jog the mind to get you on the right track.

How to develop an action plan to close the gaps identified in the business elements listed above:

  1. Evaluate each element listed and identify performance gaps and missed opportunities (put it in writing).
  2. Prioritise the list (choose the “low hanging fruit” and the elements most important to your business).
  3. Set goals/targets per prioritised element.
  4. Allocate resources to ensure delivery (people, time, funding).
  5. Implement.
  6. Evaluate progress.
  7. Adjust focus where needed.
  8. Keep monitoring until implemented.
  9. Quantify the outcome and determine the contribution to overall targets and goals.

May these guidelines spur you into action and help you to move closer to your defined goals and targets, hence realising the vision and mission of your business.

To support business owners with the important task of business planning, Sanlam gives you free access to the book Your Annual Business Game Plan for Success, which provides an easy and straightforward framework needed to draft a well-crafted game plan that will create the positive change and growth necessary for business success. Go to to download your free copy.

Article written by Jannie Rossouw, Head: Sanlam Business Market