If you want your business to be successful then you need to plan for it. Planning the future of your business is the most important responsibility you have. As described in the last blog a plan provides you with a very clear understanding of the destination of the business. With a clear destination you can easily develop the road map to get there and, more importantly, monitor the progress. In this blog we will show you how to create the plan.
Before you even start …. don’t rush it! Take your time. Set aside quality time; don’t squeeze it in between crisis meetings and rushed lunches! Seek help; work with your team; more than one person brings the power of synergy. Be wary of using friends; they may love you too much to be helpful. This is your blueprint to success so it deserves your undivided time and attention.
Creating a plan is a three step process:
- Three Year Picture ‘ clarifies the destination
- One Year Goals ‘ defines the One Year Goals that will take you towards the Three Year Picture
- Strategies ‘ describes how you will achieve the One Year Goals
Paint a Picture of what your business will look like in three years. We are in December 2012, so Paint a Picture of your business as it will be in December 2015. Create the picture by answering questions. Some sample questions:
- Have you achieved the success you want?
- What does that success look like?
- How much revenue is the company earning?
- How many people are there?
- Who is running the company?
- What markets are you in?
- What are you doing?
Keep asking the questions until you have a very clear picture of what your business looks like in three years. People who are very visual create a Vision Board! We always wrap up with this final question: “You are at a celebration dinner with your team three years from now. What are you celebrating?”
Next to each question and answer, honestly describe the present situation and describe the gap between the present and future situation. For example:
- In the Three Year Picture the company will have 50 long term clients.
- The present situation is you have 10 long term clients.
- The gap is 40 long term clients.
This is a Gap Analysis!
From the Gap Analysis you can set your One Year Goals. A few rules around One Year Goals:
- Have no less than three, no more than five
- Each Goal statement should be SMART ‘ Specific, Measurable, Appealing, Relevant and Timed
To continue with the example – We need to add 40 long term clients over the next three years. How many do we think we can add over the next year; maybe 10. So the One Year Goal is:
- By December 2013 increase the number of long term clients to 20.
You are now in the final stretch. “Wishing”for an increase to 20 clients is not enough! You must figure out “how”you will increase the number of long term clients to 20. You have 10 long term clients; you will lose some (say 3); so you need to bring an additional 13 long term clients over the next year. Some examples of strategies to achieve this:
- Design and implement a website that provides long term clients with valuable resources to help them in their business.
- Create and execute a networking strategy that keeps the company in front of ideal client companies.
- Hire a salesperson.
Voila; you have a plan!! Now let’s make sure you can use it. In the next blog we will show you how to bring your plan to life by using the power of the 90 Day FocusTM