It is often said that owning a business and moving from start-up to business maturity and all points in between is like a journey and our Business Plan is the ROADMAP to our success.
Well with our FEATURED image we are bringing that concept to life.
Here is how each element of your Business Plan plays a role in that journey.
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Imagine future-pacing your business out to some destination. At any point in time our Business is at Point-A on some highway. Off, way way way in the distance, is where we want to be in 3-Years from now. Let’s call that Destination Point-B. If you piled the kids into the car and said to them, “hey gang lets go to Montreal” the kids would invariably start asking you questions about Montreal. Like:
- Where is it?
- What is it like there?
- Why do we want to go there?
- What will we find/experience there?
- How long will it take to get there?
The answers to these questions give the children the opportunity to formulate an image of Montreal.
The Business Plan Vision Statement does the same thing by answering:
- How Much – typically Revenue
- By When – best case is 3-Years
- Doing What -services/products 3-Years from now
- For Whom – your Perfect Customer demographics and psychographics
- In What Geographical Market or Where – Local/Regional/State or Province/National/Continental/Global.
In that way we can begin to imagine the next first Designation for our Business and formulate decisions that will get us there.
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Continuing with the analogy of our Business Plan as a ROADMAP, the Mission Statement answers the question, Why does our Business exist? Effectively then the Mission Statement is represented by the guardrails on the highway. The guardrails keep us true to our intentions and keep us from veering off track.
Objectives are key short-term (no more than 1-Year) outcomes we want, or must, create. Eg. Achieve Revenues of $15,500,000 by December 31, 202X. To be effective we must measure our performance against those Objectives. Always keep in mind 2 true facts about measuring your progress against Objectives:
I. Measurement does not set us up for FAILURE it sets us up for SUCCESS as it allows us to ask the 2 most IMPORTANT questions in business:
a. Why did this happen?
b. What do we do about it or How do we respond?
II. A decision not to measure your performance against Objectives doesn’t mean that outcomes aren’t still happening good, bad or indifferent. This is not like the philosophical question “if a tree falls in the woods and nobody is there to hear it does it make a noise?”. Your business is making noise and it desperately wants to tell you what is happening. Setting and measuring Objectives is how you listen to your Business.
Objectives are then like the Mile/KM markers on the side of the highway keeping track of our progress to our Destination.
Strategies are represented by the highways structural integrity as we progress towards our Destination. The smother the surface, the stronger the bridges, the better the lighting, the smoother, safer and faster we can travel.
5. The Action Plans
Action Plans are the project work we need to complete to enable the business to more successfully carry-on. We can use Action Pans to create more programs or build better products or generate more leads or close business more effectively Action Plans are the engine in our car that enables the business to advance forward building a business based on CONTINUOUS IMPORVEMENT.
Action Plans are also how we research or investigate new ideas not previously considered. Instead of “knee jerking”, as we typically do, we use Action Plans to follow an exit route off of or main highway. On the way to Montreal we might like to go into Gananoque and take a ferry out to the 1,000 Islands. Once finished gathering information we need Strategies that provide an entrance ramp back on to our main highway to continue on to Montreal. Alternatively, in Gananoque we may be blind-sided by a massive opportunity that prompts a complete shift in our Business that suddenly Syracuse, NY is now our 3-Year Destination. With that business decision made we rebuild the Business Plan to take us there.
Now if we remain true to our intentions of getting to Montreal you might very well ask what happens once we reach Montreal, our 3-Year Destination. Well at some point between Cobourg and Montreal that next 3-Year journey will begin to show up. Perhaps it is a trip to beautiful Quebec City, or to the East Coast and some Lobster in Halifax, or maybe we’ll head south to catch the Red Soxs in Boston.
The possibilities due to our intention of continuously improving our business are endless and the possible Destinations unlimited.
1.You can find out more about what a business plan is and its importance with the international best-selling book CHAOS; How Business Leaders Can Master the Power of Focus. Get your FREE copy HERE
2. Use our FREE business planning program FOCUS Yourself; A 7 Module Business Plan Program. This is not a business plan template, it is a full business plan that is EASY and FAST, making your plan SUSTAINABLE and entirely PRACTICAL. Start your business plan NOW
3. Not sure why you need a small business plan? REGISTER for a FREE FOCUS Discovery Consultation where you will talk business, your business, with international best-selling author James Burgess
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