Strategies to Improve Performance in your Personal Life and Business

Strategy Plan One

April 9, 2012 

improve performanceImprove Performance

One should never be fully satisfied that they have reached their performance peak, that no further improvements to any aspect would be necessary.  With rapidly changing environments, entrepreneurs and successful professionals must constantly seek methods to improve, on a personal and business level.


To stay on top on the cutting edge, innovative level, you will need to engage in a systematic process of continuous improvement.

Determine your Performance Goals

There should always be a purpose behind a strategy, plan, or movement to improve performance.  You need to determine why you need or want to improve performance.  This purpose will set the stage to improve performance.  Performance goals can help guide you to an end point, assisting you to keep focused on the objective to improve performance.  Every professional and entrepreneur has differing performance goals, and differing levels to reach.

Ensure that you identify a strong performance goal, that is measurable and linked to a time frame (i.e. :  Personal goal of achieving 5% more income by the end of 8 months, or Business goal of achieving 12% return on marketing investment through the first quarter marketing campaign).

improve performanceIdentification of Performance Issues

To get to the root of all performance issues, one must start with an objective analysis of either your personal or business situation.  Shake that notion that you haven’t been doing anything wrong or could not have been doing anything wrong.


You will need to take a serious look at any deficiencies around your professional life and in your organization.  Step two is digging deep and really identifying the issues that create barriers to achieve the next step or improved performance.

Example of personal and business challenges and barriers may include:

  • Financial limitations
  • Time constraints
  • Organization issues
  • Educational or professional limitations
  • Health and wellness, and work-life balance
  • Balancing family responsibilities
  • Location and connectedness
  • Access to resources

Whatever the issue or challenge is, ensure that you objectively list them out as you will be seeking genuine resolution to improve performance.

Pathways to Improve Performance

Once issues have been identified to improve performance, you will need to develop some options to resolve performance issues.  Breakdown larger issues and barriers into micro issues and establish a plan with milestone goals along the way.  Similar to business planning, your personal improvement plan will be your blueprint to improve performance.

If it seems like you have many issues and barriers, don’t be overwhelmed by the overall picture.  Feel assured you can improve performance by breaking the plan down into smaller performance goals and solutions.  The example of personal performance of increasing income by 10% may involve many complex issues.  Break it down into what can be achieved on a micro-step, daily basis.  As part of a detailed plan, you may need to take small steps daily, seeking alternative employment options on a daily basis, or seeking promotional opportunities at work.

Stay on track and be dedicated in meeting your end performance goals.  Stay positive and work hard at this to improve performance.  Performance will not improve if you do not put in the effort.  Your dedication and hard-work ethic will pay off and you will soon observe yourself hitting milestone performance goals.

Achieving Performance Goals

Through your dedication, performance goals will be achieved at milestone stages and at the end goal.  Throughout the whole process, ensure that you continuously review your initial purpose, your initial goals.  As mentioned, your plan to improve performance should be measurable and tied to a time duration.   Measure your actual improvements against your planned performance goals.  If necessary revise and be motivated to achieve the goal or next step.

Motivation, perseverance, dedication, hard-work … grab and use these from your personal toolbox and you will achieve improved performance.


Strategy Plan One

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One

Payroll & Taxes – Where it All Goes [Infographic]

Strategy Plan One

March 24, 2012 

Here’s a brilliant illustrated Infographic of where all your deducted payroll tax goes.  Check out the common payroll deduction categories, tax brackets, and what programs receive a portion of your taxes.  Interesting to note the differences in taxes between States, and in some States, no tax is collected.


Courtesy of Paycor & sources stated above.


Strategy Plan One

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One

Struggling with Tax Prep & Filing – More Tax Return Tips

Strategy Plan One

March 21, 2012 

Tax return tips Tax Return Tips – IRS Website

The April 17 tax filing deadline is fast approaching and If you are still in need of assistance to help complete you tax forms and return, check out the help features on the IRS website ( ).


The home page is easy to navigate with links to forms, news, hot topics, helpful hints and other features.  Help and search buttons are in the upper right corner of the page.


Tax Return Tips – YouTube Videos

The IRS has made it easy for you by providing some tax tips and assistance through YouTube at .  The IRS has a YouTube channel which currently has 116 videos uploaded to the channel.  The channel has received over 3 million  views.


Tax Return Tips – Social Media

To stay up to date with the latest IRS updates, news and messaging, you can follow and sign up for other forms of social media on their website.  Follow the IRS on Twitter, sign up and configure to receive RSS news feeds and Podcasts.  Check out Social Media buttons in the lower right hand section of the IRS Home page.   Also located on their page are widgets and mobile apps to assist you with information for your tax prep and filing.


Strategy Plan One

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One



Taxes – Who is Paying What (Infographic)

Strategy Plan One

March 15, 2012

Here is a breakdown of the US taxpayer base, courtesy of Urban Brookings Tax Policy Center.  Shocking percentages in the little or no income tax categories.  Ensure you review and vote in solid taxation policies and platforms this year.

tax breakdown

Courtesy of Urban Brookings Tax Policy Center

Strategy Plan One

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One

Fresh Start Initiatives Expanded and Other Tax Tips

Strategy Plan One

March 12, 2012 

tax tips IRS Fresh Start Initiatives Expanded

In blogging about more tax tips we decided to highlight some key points to today’s Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) latest bulletin.  For taxpayers who have a balance of taxes owing and are finding it difficult to keep up, today’s note expands on the IRS’ Fresh Start Program.  Here are the 3 key areas:

  1. Penalty Relief – provides some relief for taxpayers from failure-to-pay penalties, essentially giving the taxpayer a six month extension to pay taxes
  2. Instalment payments – for taxpayers who cannot pay all the balance owing,IRS allows negotiated instalment payments, with new maximum limits of $50,000 and extended time frames to six years to pay off tax debt
  3. Offer in compromise – an agreement between a taxpayer and theIRS that settles the taxpayer’s tax liabilities for less than the full amount owed

For more detailed information on the above initiative, you should review the IRS link at,,id=255470,00.htm.  You will need to check in, contact and apply to the IRS for some of these initiatives.

Helpful Tax Tips

Here are some addition tax preparation and filing tips and information:

  • Get organized – ensure you have the proper documentation and forms for your tax return
  • Pay attention to deadlines; April 17th is an important date
  • Take advantage of tax deductions and incentives such as incentives around volunteering, donations, and charitable gifts
  • Take advantage of tax exemptions on dependents
  • Investigate and claim for the tax benefits for caring for parents
  • This is the last year to claim the American Opportunity Tax Credit – be sure to claim this
  • New form 1099-K – make sure you use this to report online income, payments received by credit cards, and other platforms such as PayPal.
  • If you will be receiving a tax refund, spend it wisely, starting with paying down the most expensive debt with the highest interest rate charges

Deadlines to file are approaching, with over 1 month to go.  Check out the IRS website for up to date information, forms and information on preparation and filing.

Strategy Plan One

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One

The Four Capacity Building Pillars of Entrepreneurship

Strategy Plan One

March 7, 2012

Capacity BuildingCapacity Building for Strong Entrepreneurship

To be a successful entrepreneur, individuals must build capacities in four key strategic areas – Operational, Management, Financial Management, and Personal capacities.  Entrepreneur capacity building involves developing the combination of all four capacity elements, to provide the ingredients for a great entrepreneurial success soup.

Some of these capacities are gained through experience throughout your career, while others are learned through educational avenues.  Some successful entrepreneurs are born with strong personality traits, and some behaviors are strengthened through learned responses in the business environment.

Here are the four key categories of capacity building leading to the development of successful entrepreneurs.

Operational Capacity Building

Having a brilliant understanding of an industry and business at ground level builds operational capacity.  This of course involves working in a variety of business operations for a period of time prior to diving into entrepreneurship.  This is where you gain valuable insight into what makes businesses tick.  Understanding the dynamics on the floor, in the cubicles, in the field and out on the road, gives you the perspective on how to lead, organize and plan for operations.

Management Capacity Building

Taking operational experience one more step, gaining management experience in a field or business will be directly applicable to managing your own business.  The valuable experience you gain managing operations, resources and people will give you the applicable tools for your own business.  With a few years of management experience, you will gain management capacity and an understanding of responsibilities and accountabilities at that level… all precursors to managing your own company.

Capacity BuildingFinancial Management Capacity Building

Through a combination of work experience and education, you need to be well-grounded and versed in managing finances. You need to be able to accurately estimate and build financial statements and to understand them.  With gained skills, you will need to be able to analyze financial statements, looking at trends and indicators and what those all mean to your business.  Financial reports provide key indicators and information on the business’ financial health…there is a wealth of information in the financial statements.  Other parties, partners and financial institutions will be looking at you and your organization’s ability to manage finances.

Personal Capacity Building

Of extreme importance, if you don’t have some key personal, entrepreneurial traits you may be closing up shop fast.  Some people are born with strong traits while other behaviors can be picked up along the development pathway.  Demonstrating strong traits and behaviors such as dedication, perseverance, ambition, determination, strong-will, openness, honesty, transparency, fairness, etc may move you along the pathway to become a successful entrepreneur.

Strategy Plan One

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One