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We Plan, We Execute!



It is only right to open with the art of Planning, very few of us have an idea of what exactly it means to plan. Planning itself is a long process, I have this saying that I love to tell my clients; "We Plan, We Execute".

Where are you 5 years from now?

What have you achieved?

How did you get there; accidentally... intentionally?


Failing to plan is planning to fail. Every inspired concept deserves thorough planning before execution to ensure the best possible outcomes.


It's 2'o clock on Sunday, grocery stores close by four. My options: Leave immediately or check the cupboards first and write a list.


I spend 25 minutes meticulously going through the cupboards to see what I already have, what is running low and what is finished. I now write my list, writing the item under the heading of the store that has the best deal on said item. I have 25 minutes less than if I had rushed out but look at my outcomes: I will get the groceries that I actually needed. I will not have to walk every single aisle, I will get the best price thus saving money (always a bonus!) I will not forget anything, I will have minimised my stress, and I will likely finish earlier than if I had rushed out without a plan because I will not have to waste time second-guessing myself.


A plan maps the path to achieving your desired outcomes.

As a restaurant consultant, I always present my client with a Plan of Action. This is a multipurpose document; existing to reveal to the client in detail, areas that require development alongside my methodology to rectify and improve said areas. A plan of action is more for me than it is for the client. It is my proof of success. As work commences the plan of action is my reference point, allowing me to see how far we have come and what is left to be done.


I am sharing this plan with you all now because I owe my success to it. My hope is that you too will develop this habit so that more of us can go through life with slightly less stress whilst achieving all of our desired outcomes. As I share more with you, we will follow the same planning path I will discuss below, on every topic we discuss. This is so when you read my blogs, you will not only leave with a great deal of knowledge but how to plan and use that knowledge to grow your self, business or team.


 

Planning has a few definitions, but here is what I use: Planning is the process of thinking about the steps that are considered necessary to achieve the desired outcome.


The keyword is NECESSARY. I want you to focus on this.


To plan as we do at KEDU, take the following steps:

1) Consider your desired outcome - "I want to bring in more customers to my restaurant". Sometimes it helps to streamline and define your desired outcome if it seems too broad, for instance, "I want to improve the ambience of my restaurant". When you consider your desired outcome, turn it into a question, ask yourself every time you 2) Consider steps/activities towards your goal/outcome - "will it work towards bringing in more customers to my restaurant? But more importantly, is it a NECESSARY step?". Offering a discount will maybe bring more customers in, but can you afford to? Do you have to? People are by nature, social beings, so maybe consider a group offer that might not necessarily be a discount.


Next, 3) When you list your steps/activities, consider who benefits, and NO! it should not be YOU - Gary Vaynerchuk once highlighted that an employer is delusional if he believes his employees work for him/her and goes on to state that this mentality will always sabotage the desire to establish a culture (THIS! is very important and we will discuss this in the future) within the business. Workers that are impressed and happy work hard(er), customers that are impressed come back or tell friends and family. Make sure you are maximising the outcome for the 'other person'. When I go into a restaurant to consult, if I highlight that staff training is needed, I am not thinking about what the restaurant needs from the staff, I am thinking about what the restaurant can offer the staff. How can I make them better chefs, waiters/waitresses, bartenders? How can I improve their skill level, how can I make them happy and motivated to be better?


4) Consider what the competition is doing and LEARN from it - Most restaurant owners I meet are trying to be different from the competition, and while a USP (unique selling proposition) is great, it is very misunderstood. Creating a USP does not necessarily mean a new product/service, it could just be how you market that product. Why do you think most companies start doing what their competition is doing? Because it has been proven to work, they see how popular it is with the buyers, they see how the market has reacted to it. It is very crucial you see your competition as a learning curve, and not the enemy.


5) Assess the outcome regularly - Some outcome from steps/activities carried out take time to assess, for those types, make sure you evaluate on a regular basis, documenting the results. Others will make their results known almost immediately or in a short amount of time. This process is important because people and sometimes things evolve, even businesses evolve, what worked well 3 months ago, could be doing damage now. A staff member driven by money could now be driven by career achievements, a discount offered on all steaks could be completely useless in Veganuary.


Next, 6) Find a Mentor - Whether it is a consultant you hire, or a business partner you respect, or a well-respected friend, find someone you know is knowledgeable to a degree in what you are doing and get their opinion on it. I am a chef and a restaurant consultant, but my mentor is the owner of a car garage workshop. The key principle here is that your mentor should be knowledgeable enough to understand how your steps will play towards your desired outcome. In business, a lot of practices are transferable, even outside of the business sector, for instance, a pastor is generally good with people, and some businessmen, although atheist have been known to speak to pastors about how to understand ways to treat staff and/or customers.


To finish, 7) Reward someone other than yourself when you reach your goal - If you get more customers in, reward the customers. This will improve customer loyalty, if your service improves, reward staff, this will boost staff motivation. To show you how important this step is, here is a story where most people would have rewarded themselves, but the opposite was done. A friend in University wanted to achieve an 'A' grade in our Intermediate mathematics module, and created steps to achieve this. At the end of the term, he got an A. He bought a hamper basket and gave it to our Math professor and explained how certain teaching skills and techniques the professor used had helped him achieve his goal.


The next term, when we came back for an advanced mathematics module, the same professor had improved said skills and techniques and created other teaching aids that would go on to eventually help most of the class in securing As at the end of the term, which led most of the student to go online and leave amazing reviews on a 'rate my professor' site as well as a class contribution to buy a gift for said professor. One student rewarded the professor, the professor rewarded the students, the students rewarded the professor and the school (as ratings towards professors also go towards the school), a cycle of rewards starting from one student.


Planning is a long process, but when done right, the execution will be almost, if not completely flawless. When you read my blog, take what knowledge you have gained, develop a plan with it and incorporate that into your life, business, and/or team.



Akudo Agokei.

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