“Destiny is not a matter of chance, but of choice. Not something to wish for, but to attain.”
– William Jennings Bryan, Former U. S. Secretary of State
The “business plan” is a common tool used by many companies. But why? Too often, preparing a business plan is done because “that’s what businesses do” and it becomes a rote exercise that in¬evitably yields little or no produc¬tive results.
You’re about to discover a completely new version of the business plan – a business plan that actually serves you. It serves you because it starts with your passion and translates into spe¬cific actions. It begins with the entrepreneur and ends with your inner manager. It also recognizes change as your constant com¬panion.
This business plan begins with a different set of operating assump¬tions than does the “traditional” business plan. Your attitude and how you translate your goals into projects and tasks are the key fac¬tors that make it a success.
Business Planning “Productive Points of View”
These are some “productive points of view” about planning that make it a truly worthwhile endeavor:
Start with what‘s important to you – are you passionate about your plan?
Approach planning as more of an art than a science – make your best guesses and document your planning assumptions
Create a planning framework that accommodates change – think of your plan as more of a series of guideposts of key topics to focus attention on and targets to aim for.
Recognize those things that are hard for you and how you avoid them – Which skills do you need to develop? What parts of planning make you crazy? There’s probably a lot of room for growth here if you embrace it.
Connect goals to projects, and projects to tasks – plans don’t work unless they drill all the way down to day-to-day tasks.
If you have a vision for what you want your business to become, and if you really want to make that vision a reality, here’s where you get to draw the map that will get you there. Just jump right in. You’ll probably see that you’ve already done a lot of the necessary thinking and documentation.
Here’s an easy way to begin:
Be specific and realistic about what you want to achieve
Make it easy
Make it flexible
Benchmarks for Producing Your Business Plan
The following benchmarks help you pull all the pieces together into a document that combines heart-centered and head-centered planning to become the living, breathing plan for your organization.
1. Imagine the impact you want your business plan to have
2. Assess the Current Condition of Your Business
3. Prioritize the Business’ Needs
4. Create Quarterly Goals and Monthly Actions
5. Assign Accountabilities and Due Dates
6. Document Assumptions and Allow for Change
For more information on this topic, watch the webinar How to Make 2017 Your Best Year Yet and download the informative booklet that goes along with it. While there, sign up for a free consultation where we can discuss steps to move your business forward.