Claire Bradford: planning ahead for a blooming business year

Last week, I talked about getting rid of ‘stuff’ in your personal or business life, whether that be physical clutter, time-sink activities or even products and services that are tired.

I likened this process to clearing weeds in the garden so that new shoots could grow.

So this week, I’m taking the gardening analogy further.

It’s no good chucking a lot of seeds into a flower bed and watering them enthusiastically every day for about three weeks, then getting frustrated that your plants aren’t blooming as you imagined, give up, and let them die.

Of course, to get the blooms that you want, you need to plant a seed, tend it carefully and regularly, take joy in watching the shoots come up and then develop leaves, stalks and, eventually, the flower you’ve been waiting for.

What kind of gardener would water the seeds, see the shoots, then stamp all over them because they weren’t the flowers he wanted?

Yet this is what many business owners do. They work hard to create a product or service, put it out into the marketplace, maybe start to see some interest, but then become frustrated by the fact it’s not bringing them the income they hoped for immediately, so they neglect it or abandon it.

When you have your next business vision, of course you will imagine the ‘flower’ it will become in great detail.

You will carefully select the ‘seeds’ you need to plant. But will you spare enough thought for the stages in between? What will the ‘shoots’ look like? How will you support them so that they can develop quicker?

I’ve got a number of exciting goals for Straightforward Coaching this year.

My year planning workbook has got me planning the different stages of each of these goals month by month, and it has been an enormously satisfying process to picture each stage of the plan throughout the year.

It also feels much more achievable.

Goal setting and breaking it down into smaller pieces is nothing new of course.

But it’s something a surprisingly high number of business owners neglect to do. So what blooms are you planting this year?

Let me know your exciting 2015 plans by tweeting me via @coachbythecoast

n For more information about my business, visit www.straightforwardcoaching.com