If You Hate Business Planning, You Need to Read This!
One common conversation I’ve had countless times with small business owners:
Me: “What’s your plan for next year?”
Owner: “I want to do better than last year.”
Me: “And what did that look like?”
Owner: “Well, I don’t know an exact figure…”
Me: “Let’s start with where the business came from…”
Owner: “I’m note the best tracker…”
Better than last year is not much of a plan. Business Planning ensures success – it gives us direction, helps us set specific benchmarks, allows for adjustments along the course, and provides important support. This isn’t groundbreaking news, and in fact, most people will quote you something similar when asked about the value of having a plan.
So why don’t most people do it, or do it poorly? For some, it’s a lack of know-how. Many entrepreneurs started as salespeople who later found themselves, because of their early successes, needing to be managers, operations specialists, financial directors, systems analysts, and more. For others, it’s a belief that business plans are giant tomes filled with formulas, data, and other tiresome details.
Each fall, coaches from McLean head out all over the nation, helping clients put together their plans for the coming year, or even years. We use a very succinct, straightforward Snapshot Business Planning process. It starts with clarity of Vision, Values, and Mission, and continues with examining the Eight Facets of Business – what’s working and what’s not working. Simple goals are set, action steps are defined, and then a suitable Celebration for reaching those goals is decided on. The summary literally fits on just two sheets of paper, not a binder full.
Whether you’re partnering with a coach to do it, or working in DIY mode,keep it simple. Answer the following questions:
- What is my main goal to accomplish next year?
- What are my measures for success?
- Who will help me make it happen?
- What three actions can I take to move me toward my goal?
- What else do I want to be able to say I accomplished one year from today?
Block out a half day to work on YOUR business plan in earnest. Do it now; waiting until January 1 is like making New Year’s Resolutions at the last minute, destined to fall away in weeks, if not days. Go somewhere you won’t be interrupted, put away that cell phone and focus on YOU.
Should you decide you want more help, reach out to us at Info@McLeanInternational.com – we’ll schedule a strategy session to get you on your way to your best year yet!