The magic of the business plan is not the “plan” itself, but the process that the business goes through in putting it together, and then using it as a living document to guide and direct the business. Here are 5 Steps necessary to begin the Planning Process:
1. Know where your business is going. Do you have a vision of what you want your business to look like in 5 years? 10 years? It’s impossible to put together a realistic plan if you don’t have a destination in mind.
2. Break the plan down into realistic chunks. Rather than just do an annual plan, break it down into Quarterly Plans so that you can focus on short-term accomplishments while working towards long-range goals.
3. Assign tasks to team members. Do not think you can do everything yourself. Make sure you get your team involved in fulfilling the plan.
4. Dedicate a block of time to do the plan. Once a quarter spend an entire day away from your business putting the plan together. This will get you away from all of your day-to-day distractions and help you focus on completing the plan.
5. Have a Business Coach assist you. Having an outsider’s perspective to give you ideas and guidance keeps you from developing unrealistic expectations, and going down a direction that doesn’t make sense for you and your business.
Having a solid and realistic business plan can help you overcome the pitfalls that every business owner will encounter. Start today, and make your future happen.