Did you write yours? It’s OK if you didn’t; it’s not too late to get started creating a plan to make this your best year ever. If you have a vision for what you want your business to become and if you really want to make that vision a reality, then creating a plan that is your map to get you there just makes sense.
Use the following six tips to guide you:
1. Be specific and realistic about what you want to achieve. This step is about gaining clarity around two things. First, you need to be clear about your vision for the business; that is what you want your business to achieve. Second, you need to be clear about how you’ll use your business plan to achieve that vision. Your business plan is a statement of your vision and a current description of the main strategies and tactics you’ll use to make your vision come true.
2. Choose a time horizon for your plan. Since we are focused on 2017, you can create a plan based on this one year. It’s short enough that it’s likely to not significantly deviate and long enough to be a meaningful contribution toward your vision.
3. Get organized. It’s key that you make a commitment to devote the time, attention and resources to creating your plan. Eliminate overwhelm as much as you can.
4. Think about how you’ll get others involved. Getting others within your organization to contribute to the creating of the plan, not only creates a sense of shared commitment but you also get the benefit of more knowledge and help. The engagement that people feel when given an opportunity to participate at this level of business planning is definitely worth it. Decide who within your organization you’d like to have involved.
5. Make it flexible. Don’t think of your plan as a rigid “final product” with every detail pinned down. Think of your plan as a living, growing document and welcome opportunities to add to, revise or even eliminate parts of your plan as new information becomes available. Whatever you do, don’t follow through with something in your plan, just because “it’s in the plan!” Stay flexible and be open to change, when you do, you’ll have a business plan that serves your company well.
6. Use milestones. You’ll find that if you break your annual goals down into achievable milestones, you will keep yourself and others engaged throughout the year. A way to do this is to make sure every goal has a project associated with it. Then determine the high-level tasks necessary to complete the project. Give each task a due date and assign accountability for accomplishing that task.
Now that you are organized and have laid the foundation using the six steps above, it’s time to continue moving towards the creation of your plan. Watch my video to learn how to determine the benchmarks needed for the writing of the plan.
If you would like some assistance with the creation of your annual plan, reach out to me and schedule your complimentary consultation.