Turn All the Great Business Advice Into Action

Updated on 12 December 2018

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By: Jannie Roussouw, Head of Sanlam Business Market

You probably got many ideas from attending conferences or webinars and reading books, magazines and blogs. Social media alone provides hundreds of ‘how to’ and ‘do now’ ideas every day.

We are not short of ideas; we are deluged with them. The problem is implementation. Ask yourself: did you implement any of the ideas? Roughly how many? Could you measure any improvement in your business directly related to each idea implemented?

Allocate resources, including time, and do not accept half measures

From idea to action

In these difficult economic conditions, we need all the help we can get to manage our businesses for profit and growth. We know that. I get the feeling that we have become a bit like the person with many unused cookbooks and all the latest appliances, desperately searching the home for anything to eat.

We have become shell-shocked by the volume of the advice and there are no ‘how to’ guides on how to implement all the good advice, while still running a business.

Ask questions like:

1. If I implemented this idea, could I see a measurable difference in my business? If so, by when? What would the size of the change be? How difficult would it be to implement?

2. If I did not implement this idea, what degree of risk would I be taking? (This is a bit like lying injured in a crashed car looking ruefully at the unused seat belt.)

3. Is it applicable to my business? Is it practicable in my sector? Is it my style or a style I could adapt to without changing my core values?

4. Does it leap off the page to me? Is it something I like, that I can use?


1. Choose about three ideas that you want to try.

2. Then decide when, how, by whom and with what measured outcomes this should be done. This may mean that you need to figure out how you are going to measure results.

3. Set a target for results and timing – how much and by when. If you are the implementer, add the instructions to your task list. Allocate resources, including time, and do not accept half measures.

4. Follow the advice to the letter.

Stick to what works

The most important parts thereof are to measure outcomes, to achieve targets, to make sure the idea works. Once you have established a method for implementing advice you will quickly learn which advice to try and which to stay away from. Your business should soon show improvements.

Implementing ideas takes a lot longer than reading about them, so you will only be able to implement a fraction of the good ideas you get in a year.

To support business owners with the important task of business planning, Sanlam gives you free access to the book Your Annual Business Game Plan for Success, which provides an easy and straightforward framework needed to draft a well-crafted game plan that will create the positive change and growth necessary for business success.

Go to www.sanlamgameplan.co.za to download your free copy.

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