If you have been following my articles, you will certainly have heard me talk about the value of business planning for your business.
Yet you may have been put off preparing your own business plan because you think it’s too hard. Perhaps you think you can’t spare the time, or you think you may have to hire a consultant?
Or is it because you can’t see how a dry document can be brought to life for you to implement it?
What if I told you how easy it is to write your business plan and the key to making it a live document?
The business planning process is a simple methodical formula:
- You define where exactly you want to end up;
- You analyse exactly where you are now, thus identifying the gaps; and
- You work out strategies to bridge the gap.
But what’s the key to making it come alive? That’s what this week’s video lesson is all about.
You see, the real key of making any business plan come alive and easy to implement is first setting your vision. This defines where you want to go and while setting your strategic direction, it means that you have made a real decision rather than wandering from pillar to post wondering what you should do next. With a clear vision of where you want to go, many choices become just one: “what do I have to do to get me there?”
However, once you have set your vision and your strategic direction, many people find it hard to keep this in front of them all the time, every day.
For the first few days, you actually make your decisions based on the big picture of your strategic direction and what you want your business to look like when you get there. So, if you are hiring, you ask “which of these people best fit the picture of my business when I have achieved my vision?” If you are making a decision on which markets to pursue, you remember to ask yourself, “which of these markets will get me to my future faster?”
But we all know that as the days go by, the day to day happens and you get “caught up” with all the little things. We are out of practice in looking to the long term, more used to worrying about the next day or the next week. So, after a while, we forget to measure our path by the yardstick of the vision we have set.
You must not forget! You must not get caught up! You really have to practice lifting your eyesight above the small minutiae of the tactics and look beyond to the strategy of the future.
Watch the video again about how to do this in detail, but the steps are simple:
- Write down the vision statement;
- Look at the vision statement from the perspective of customers;
- Look at the vision statement from the perspective of your staff;
- Look at the vision statement from the perspective of your finances;
- look at the vision statement from the perspective of key business procedures;
- Place the vision statement in a prominent place;
- Read it every day for a period of 3 months, remembering the measures defined by the four perspectives;
- Then read it every week for a year;
- Set up a weekly review where you identify what you did to move closer to the vision;
- During the review also ask what you have done that did not move you closer to your vision;
- Whenever you have to make a decision review the vision statement and ask what would best get you to your vision?
Go on! That’s my challenge to you for the next 28 days!
Then, get back here to teikoh.com and tell me how you went. I’d be pleased to receive your comments and see if I can help you to stay true to your vision.
Now, in the video lesson, I talked about the four perspectives. Next week I will deep-dive into how you look at your vision statement from those four perspectives, and how you define your strategic direction using them – don’t miss it!
Your vision is the key to getting your business plan implemented, so do give it a go.