Today I’ll show you how to achieve your business goals for 2021 using the 8 step GSD Framework that actually works!
Why do business owners fail to meet their goals?
Most business owners don’t reach their goals because they approach it the same way as buying a lottery ticket. They go in and pick some random numbers that sound good and then spend the rest of the afternoon dreaming about what they’re going to do when the money starts pouring in.
The problem is that these business goals have about the same chances of working out as the lottery. Owners get the instant gratification of setting big, hairy, audacious goals and their team feels good saying them, writing them, and sharing them.
But what happens when the quick shot of dopamine wears off and you smack face-first into reality?
We all know we need to set goals. A Harvard study found that when people were given goals, they outperform their peers by 30% or more. However, most people give up on their goals after just 60 days or less because their goals are too lofty, too vague, and don’t have good action steps.
So how do you achieve your business goals for 2021? Here is my 8 step framework that actually works to identify the exact action steps you need to take and when.
I call this the GSD (Getting Stuff Done) Framework.
Why Use the GSD (Getting Stuff Done) Framework?
Congratulations, you survived 2020 and you’re still in business. How do you change gears from surviving 2020 to thriving in 2021?
For example, let’s say your goal is to double your sales this year. Setting this goal looks good on paper and makes you feel even better when you say it out loud, but setting the goal is the easy part.
Now comes the hard part. First, you need to know how your sales come into your business. Next, you have to reverse engineer the process to identify each action step. Then, you need to break each of these action steps down into time segments. Finally, you need to take action!
Here’s a simplified example of what this looks like using the GSD Framework:
Goal: Double sales in CY2021
- I will prospect one hour per day
- Call current customers once per month and ask for referrals.
- Follow up with current leads once a quarter
You can use this GSD Framework to achieve any goal whether it is business, professional, or personal. One personal goal that is very popular every January is improving your health. Most people will say they want to lose weight. They might even get specific and say they want to lose 50lbs in the next year. They still rarely hit the goal because they don’t have specific action steps.
Here’s another simplified example of how you would apply the GSD Framework to reach this goal.
Goal: Lose 50lbs
- I will walk 2 miles every day
- Not eat after dinner
- Drink enough water.
- Not eat more than 1,800 calories a day.
The action steps are the ingredients and the goal is the finished dish. The higher quality and more consistent the ingredients, the better the dish. When you follow all of the action steps you get the beautiful finished dish we all see in Home magazine.
How to use the GSD Framework to achieve your business goals for 2021
This is where the rubber meets the road. Here, I’m going to walk you through all of the eight steps of the GSD process in detail.
It’s important that you follow ALL of these action steps for EACH goal you set. If you do it right it’s a lot of work so you should only set a maximum of three goals at a time. In fact, I recommend setting just one goal if this is your first time using the GSD Framework. It’s better to achieve one goal than miss three goals.
Here’s the eight-step GSD Framework in action.
#1. Set the Right Goal
This is the easy part. We already talked about this earlier. It feels good to say you’re going to double your sales this year, but it may not be realistic after you through steps 2 and 3. Don’t set yourself up for failure. If you discover you need to spend 12 hours every day prospecting for new customers to meet your goal then you need to change it to be more realistic.
You can come back to this step to adjust your goal. It’s ok to change your goal sometimes and it’s better to do it early in the process.
#2. Identify the First 3 Action Steps
To prevent analysis paralysis, write out just the first three action steps you need to meet the goal.
For example, let’s say Bobby business owner’s goal is to double sales. They know on average they can close 10% of leads and turn them into customers.
If last year they had 50 customers and need 100 customers to double their sales then they’ll need 1,000 leads to reach their goal.
The first three steps might look like this:
- Identify the top two sources of quality leads last year
- Implement a process to double leads from these two sources
- Test a third potential source leads
Yes, you will probably have more than three action steps total to complete the entire sales process, but in my experience, if you focus on the first three action steps to build momentum the other steps will take care of themselves.
#3. Break Each Action Step into Defined Time Periods
Now that you’ve identified the first three action steps it’s time to break them down into defined time periods.
Going back to our example, Bobby business owner wants to double their sales this year. They identified in the action step above that they need 1,000 leads this year at a 10% close rate to convert 100 of them into customers.
If we break this down into smaller timed goals they need 336 leads a quarter, or 84 leads a month, or 21 leads per week.
They could break this goal down even further into a daily number. However, there are diminishing returns on breaking goals down into defined time periods based on the overall total. For example, if you’re goal was 10 sales for the year it wouldn’t make sense to break it down into a weekly goal.
You need to do this for EACH action step. For example:
- Action Step #1: Cold call leads that fit XYZ criteria
- Yearly: 500
- Quarterly: 125
- Monthly: 42
- Weekly: 11
- Daily: 2.2
- Action Step #2: Create good content to engage potential customers
- Yearly: 60
- Quarterly: 15
- Monthly: 5
- Weekly: 1.3
- Action Step #3: Host customer engagement events
- Yearly: 10
- Quarterly: 3.3
- Monthly: 0.8
This is the point where you need to evaluate if your goal is still realistic. If you only made 5 cold calls last year, it’s probably not realistic to set your goal at 500 cold calls this year.
If your goal isn’t realistic, change it now! It’s ok to adjust your goal sometimes and it’s better to do it early in the process.
#4. TAKE ACTION!!!
This is how you achieve your business goals for 2021 and is what separates successful business owners from the lotto. Once they’ve done all of the work of setting the goals and reverse-engineering the process they have to take action!
This means showing up consistently and doing the work every day. Consistent action equals consistent results.
#5. Review the Results
Don’t wait until the end of the year to review your result! Do this at the earliest possible interval whether those are daily, weekly, or monthly time periods.
After a few intervals, you’ll have enough data to know if you’re in the ballpark of hitting your goal.
Business owners and entrepreneurs are natural optimists. 90% of the time you won’t be on track to hit your goal in the first few days, weeks, or months because you were overly optimistic about the results. That’s ok because of what we do in step 6 of the GSD Framework.
#6. Find Areas for Improvement
This is where the real money is made.
We now have data so we can find areas to improve the process and get back on track to hit our goal.
From our earlier example, Bobby business owner spent an hour a day on cold calls but only made 5 calls per week for the first few weeks instead of the 11 they needed in the action step. If they continue at the same rate for the rest of the year they won’t reach their goal.
However, they now have more data. They know it will take twice as long each week as they anticipated.
Here’s where it gets fun. Brainstorm 5 ideas on how you can improve your process to get closer to your goal.
#7. Test New Actions
New data requires new actions.
Bobby business owner has some important decisions to make. They need to identify new actions to achieve their goal. Bobby should pick the idea from step 6 that they think is most likely to work and then brainstorm 3 to 5 potential new actions.
These potential actions might look like:
- Set aside double the time for cold calls each day (2 hours instead of 1)
- Assign someone else the additional hour of cold calls each day
- Create useful content to warm-up leads
- Pre-qualify leads for better conversions
- Narrow down lead criteria to increase the conversion rate
After these are listed out, Bobby business owner should test the one potential action they think is most likely to work the best. If this first potential action doesn’t work, they have four more they can test.
#8. TAKE ACTION!!!
This step is so important that I’ve listed it twice in capital letters with three exclamation points. The rest of the GSD Framework is a waste of time if you don’t take action. Enough said.
The hard truth is that most business owners give up on their annual goals in the first two months because they don’t use a process like my GSD Framework. I don’t want you to be one of those statistics this year.
Business owners who set clear action steps instead of vague goals are the ones that are going to win. Here I showed you why GDS Framework actually works to help you achieve your business goals for 2021 by breaking the goal down into action steps. Also, I showed you how to apply all 8 steps of the framework to identify the best action steps. Finally, I shared the most important part of this whole process, taking action!
My mission is to help business owners who have a burning desire to take action and aren’t afraid of the truth. I provide the best business advice conflict-free to help you eliminate problems, double your income, brainstorm ideas, and solve any of the hundreds of issues that come up when you’re a business owner.
I wish you more money and time so you can enjoy the freedom you deserve. Cheers to your success in 2021!
Are you ready to take some serious action? You can contact me here.