Beef Up Your Biz Plan

Ellen Rohr
Contributing Writer
Bare Bones Biz

It’s September already?  Pull out your business plan and take a look at your mission, your vision and your goals for 2018. How’s it going?

What? No plan? It’s not uncommon to operate without a business plan.  Consider that most owners spend more time planning a party than they do planning their business.  However, if you want a quantum leap, or at least a major change of momentum, putting a plan together may help you think in dramatically different ways. Those thoughts of what you would rather have, what you really, really want, are the seeds of change.  Without a plan, you might be at the effect of someone else’s plan (customers, employees, family).  And there may not be a starring role for you.

Business planning is simply this:  Clarifying what you want and committing to a written course of actions that will move you in that general direction.  You don’t have to have everything figured out.  One of the tricky things about crafting a plan?  You have to launch your intentions in the uncharted waters of the future. Still, it is worth doing a plan, and updating that plan, because it is a powerfully positive tool for making what you want happen.

So grab your plan and a pencil (or your iPad, or laptop)…and start writing.

·       Start with your mission. Answer this question, “Why are you in business?” in under 12 words. Work it over a few times until you really care about your Mission. Get inspired!

·       Consider your Target Market.  Who really cares about what you do? Who would be willing to pay you for it?

·       Next, review your goals.  Write down your five juiciest goals.  Be specific. “More money” is not a goal. “Sales at $100K per month for quarter 4, 2014” is a goal.

·       Create your Organizational Chart.  Map out the positions that are required to run your company considering the tasks that need to be done.  Planning, marketing, sales, production, accounting, caring for the physical plant and vehicles, etc.  Then, put names in the boxes and arrange who reports to whom.

·       Confront the money, Honey. A budget helps you set financial goals and create a sound selling price. Want to make it really easy? Double or triple your prices. Getting really profitable, collecting sales now…can fix your business.

·       Review your Marketing Plan and Sales Processes. How much are you willing to spend on Marketing?  Allocate the dollars and focus on just a few main Marketing vehicles.  Then, incorporate the launch dates into your calendar.

·       Update your Top Projects List. Assemble a list of 5-10 projects that will move you in the direction of your goals.  Assign an “In Charge” and set due dates and interim meetings to check progress.

You can do this in a weekend, or even an afternoon.  Review and update your plan once a week.  Share it with your team.  Set a course on the horizon and boldly advance in the direction of your dreams.

“Make no little plans, they have no magic to stir men’s blood.  Make big plans, aim high in hope and work and let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty.”  ~Daniel Burnham.

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