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Take a minute to look around. When you thought about your goals in January, is this where you planned to be?

In this industry, being busy is a reality, but being profitable depends on how you spend that valuable asset called time.

If you fell short of your goals this year, it’s time to make some serious changes so that you hit them next year. Without a focused plan, you can expect productivity to get hijacked every day by emergencies. As Karen Martin, author of “The Outstanding Organization: Generate Business Results by Eliminating Chaos and Building the Foundation for Everyday Excellence,” said, “When everything is a priority, nothing is a priority.” What you need to get on a fast track for hitting your goals next year is a real plan…and no excuses.

If you tried business planning in the past, but weren’t serious about sticking to it, your productivity may have tanked from all the daily distractions. To succeed, you must run your business by design—not default.

Are you tired of falling short of your dream goals? Take time today to focus on designing your business to succeed. Follow these no-fail strategies to help you reach your goals:

Start with a strategic plan. Break the year into manageable 12-week increments to keep you fresh, focused and moving forward into the next segment of business planning and execution. We can only “act in the day,” so to be truly effective, focus on your daily habits.* The positive outcome of the compound effect is guaranteed to get you to your ultimate goal. Break down your strategic plan into manageable elements: 1 – 6 months, one year and 3 – 5 years. List your top 12-week goals, then follow your daily plan to get to the next milestone.

Design a real business plan. You may think you had a business plan in the past, but if it didn’t include action items and targeted segmentation of your daily and weekly actions, it was just a dream list. An effective business plan* includes determining your strengths and weaknesses to define areas of delegation. You must identify specific target markets and create action plans to get the sales you seek.

Know your numbers. Many agents would rather spend money on lead generation instead of doing those simple daily steps that are proven to convert more leads to sales. Look carefully and track the actual return on investment to calculate cost of lead and actual conversions as it translates to real sales. Those slick platforms are great at offering turnkey services, but focus on the return on your investment every week. Long-term leads are good, but you need to lead with revenue. You may be surprised to discover that local lead generation may be more successful than incubating web leads in your marketplace. The key here is to measure and track every week to determine the value of the platforms you pay for.

Set aside quiet time each morning to plan your day, incorporate weekly huddles with your team to stay focused and consider hiring a good coach to help keep you on track to the profit zone.

*Receive a complimentary business plan template and Daily Success Habits tracker at

Murphy_Terri_2018_60x60Terri Murphy is a communication engagement specialist, author, speaker and coach. She is the author/co-author of five books, and founder of Contact her at, or For more information, please visit

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