Triumph in 2020: 20 Planning Tips to Make 2020 Your Best Year So Far


Studio 42 Workspaces   •   November 11, 2019

The New Year is quickly approaching so you know what that means… New Year’s resolution time!

If your 2020 resolution is to better your business, then have a look at the below tips to find out how to make 2020 your year.

Brought to you by Orb Services.

#1 – Long Term Target

Think out as far as you can and ensure to look at:

  • The problem you solve
  • The products/services you do it with
  • The revenue/profit you require
  • The geographical reach you work in
  • The size of your team
  • The role YOU want to play

#2 – 2020 Success

Chances are your long-term goal will take more than 12 months. So, bring it back to what a successful year would look like.

Use the same categories as long term. Just shape the goals to be realistic for the next 12 months. Write this down to reinforce it – you can’t hit a target you don’t aim at.


#3 – Keep It simple

The more complex, the more difficult. You have to make things as simple as possible, but simple is not the same as easy.

Look at any of your systems, processes, goals, messages or people and look for complexity which can be removed to make things easier.

#4 – Growing by what?

There are only a handful of ways to grow – be clear about what yours will be.

If you are going to adjust your price, the end of the calendar year can be a great time to roll this in.

Things you can do:

  • Sell more of the same products at the same price
  • Same volume but at a better price
  • Diversified product suite to add more value
  • Reduced costs/improved efficiency
  • Combination of all of the above

#5 – Profitability Check

On a plot of resources versus revenue and profit, where would you plot your products or services?

Make sure you’re making an informed decision about where to put your resources.

It’s a lot easier to double something that is rolling with a lot of momentum already.

#6 – Price Check

Even a 10% error in your price could be costing you 30-50% of your final profit!

Get your price point right before you worry about trying to increase the volume.

#7 – Have Some Fun

Business is hard, there’s no ways around it.

You don’t have to be one of those fake happy people. You just need to find some fun, satisfaction, joy and purpose in it somewhere. If you’re just going through the motions, your staff and customers see this, and they won’t like it.

#8 – Value Proposition

The big ‘why, how and what’.

Improving your clarity here will help you communicate better with your clients. Better communication leads to greater interest which leads to increased enquiries from the right people!

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#9 – Product Suite

Chances are you can do a lot for your clients, but where do you start?

Be specific about solving ONE problem with ONE product. This will help you build the trust you need to get people on board. As you build trust and credibility, other options will appear to add value through additional products.

#10 – Customer Journey

If you don’t have this mapped out, you can’t train staff, measure efficiency, identify roadblocks, communicate clear ‘next step’s for customers and the list goes on.

Many times, this lives in an owner’s head. If you can extract it, and then focus on how to improve this for the customer, it will set the basis for continual improvement.

  1. Where do they hear about you?
  2. What does the enquiry process look like?
  3. When do they make a financial commitment?
  4. How do you deliver your products/services?
  5. What happens once they’re a happy customer?

#11 – Aim to retain

What happens to your customers after they have done business with you? Look to establish the following:

  • Can you improve your return rates?
  • Are there additional products or serviced they could benefit from (but don’t just expand for expanding sake)?
  • Can you improve how you show thanks to them for spending money with you and show appreciation?

#12 – Right System / Right Process

There are three types of systems. Using the right one at the right place creates fluidity. The wrong one creates chaos!

  1. Step by Step – think original production line, minimal thought needed by those following out the process.
  2. If, then – allows for multiple scenarios but can become overly complex quickly, with too many branches.
  3. Outcome based – outcome + guidelines promote responsibility to achieve an outcome with the flexibility around ‘how to’.

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#13 – Role and Responsibility

Every time you tell someone what to do, you give them permission to switch their brain off and leave the thinking to you!

Stop giving instructions.

  1. Set the outcomes you need them to deliver
  2. Establish the guidelines they need to work within to meet cultural and policy expectations
  3. Agree on a measure of success for success or failure
  4. Promote their ownership
  5. Continually review and develop this

#14 – Rethink Your Organisation Chart

The typical box, hierarchical chart is a start, but it fails to give the practical context and understanding to the process of what’s happening in the business.

Try showing people where they fit within the customer journey instead. This will give them a context to what they do and helps to build accountability.

#15 – Customer Profiles

You must have a very clear understanding of who you serve. Without it, conversion struggles.

If you can afford to do some proper research here, this can be valuable. If you cant, just spend some time dissecting your existing customer base and establish your ‘A’ level clients etc.

Start by identifying things like:

  • Hard attributes (age, gender, location, marital status, job type, income level)
  • Soft attributes (specifically what values overlap with your own)
  • What other activities and places are of interest to them?
  • What else do they get up to in their free time?

#16 – Qualify Faster

“Do you mind if I ask you a couple of quick questions to get an understanding of where you’re at?”

The earlier you can establish this, the smoother the rest of your process will be. Servicing clients that are not a great fit creates friction throughout the rest of the process and is usually an overall loss.

#17 – Crafting Material

Where can you put your resources to be most effective? Start with your own data-base.

Your promotional activity needs to be in touch with your capacity to service clients! Too many people are trying to run a marketing plan that would suit Coke, with a capacity to bring on only 3 new clients – keep it realistic!

  • Select your audience for an activity
  • Establish a key message to communicate to that audience
  • Support with a customer success story
  • Select the best medium to showcase
  • Roll out onto the appropriate platform(s)
  • Watch, review, and adapt to the results

#18 – Which Platform is Right?

All promotional channels can work. You will do best by following three key priorities:

  • Focus on where your customers are, not the latest and greatest trends.
  • Pick 1-2 platforms and do them well rather than 6 half-baked. Simple is good!
  • You cannot beat consistency – be consistent!

There is no one right way, you need to select what is right for your audience and resources.

#19 – Establish the Pulse

There will be 3-8 things in your business which are crucial to success. Rather than becoming inundated with data, spend time to know what these are, then focus on them.

Operational Pulse Examples:

  • Sales process, productivity levels
  • Customer/staff retention
  • Repeat customer/additional sales

Financial Pulse Examples:

  • Revenue : Profitability metrics
  • Key input %’s, labour, etc
  • Customer Acquisition metrics

#20 – Time Management

Prioritisation and discipline are the precursors for effective time management.

Plans don’t count for anything without the ability to execute them. You need to create the time to focus on the priorities in your business, or they will fade into the abyss.


A word from Martin Lewis – Orb Services Founder:

To recap, we’ve looked at:

  • Who you’re looking for and how to know
  • Where and what you can do to generate more enquiries
  • How to measure what is important
  • Focusing your resources there.

Anything in here is only as good as what you do with the information. Just knowing something won’t help you. It’s knowing AND doing that counts! Failing that, doing and learning!

I started this business to help people succeed in business, if this helps you take a step forward, that’s enough!

If you’re wondering where to start, or questions other areas, I build these for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

You can arrange a free 45-minute consult here.

Martin Lewis

Here’s to 2020 being your best yet!