Planning: What gets scheduled gets done

The subject line of Brian Basilico's email reads: Do You Have a Wishing Statement or a Mission Statement?

The difference matters.

The email actually was a notice that episode 290 in Basilico's Bacon Podcast series was ready for listening ( Listen a bit and you'll discover that Basilico's message applies to many of us: If you want to grow your business, "Figure out what you really want to get done, what getting those tasks done will take, and get them on your schedule," Basilico says on the podcast.

With 19 different websites and 11 different email accounts, Basilico understands the need to schedule. Founder, president and creative force at B2b Interactive Marketing Inc., Aurora, Basilico believes in planning and scheduling so much that he schedules (and names) each day.

There's Marketing Monday, when Basilico works on his own business' marketing. Training Tuesday is the day for client coaching. Working Wednesday is when Basilico gets his projects done. Togetherness Thursday is networking. Flexible Friday catches whatever still needs to be done.

Setting Basilico's scheduling process aside for a moment, the first step is to determine what you want to accomplish - then what it will take to reach those goals.

This may be a good time to review how your business has done this year; how you plan to successfully close 2017, and what ideas you have for your business in 2018. Will you be wishing for success or will you be on a mission that will get your business where you want it to go?

Basilico's advice: Stop wishing (that things will get done) and create a mission (to get things done). My suggestions:

• Business owners tend to get lonely, especially if they're solopreneurs. We need people to talk with.

So create a peer group - business owners who aren't competitors but whose structure is similar to yours, four or five entrepreneurs like you who are willing to share ideas. Set up three or four breakfast sessions; personally invite guests to the first, to get things started.

Meet monthly for an hour. Conversation should be confidential, but any business topic that's bugging someone is open.

• If you're not into social media, get there - especially if your target demographic is younger. You can advertise on Facebook. Do you? Should you? Do you Tweet? Should you? Do you blog? Should you?

• If you and your accountant mostly talk taxes when you talk, change the conversation. Good accountants can be valuable strategic advisors.

• Check out the business accelerators that are beginning to appear in the suburbs.

• Check out SCORE. Once known as the Service Corps of Retired Executives, SCORE chapters today focus heavily on mentoring and roundtable discussions. Services are free or low cost.

Fox Valley SCORE serves our types of businesses in DuPage, DeKalb, Kane, Will, Kendall, and McHenry counties. Chicago SCORE serves our businesses in Cook and Lake counties.

• © 2017 Kendall Communications Inc. Follow Jim Kendall on LinkedIn and Twitter. Write him at Read Jim's Business Owners' Blog at

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