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New Year, New Business Plan

Happy New Year!

It’s a great time of the year to have some quiet time, recharge your batteries, have a rest and get yourself ready to take off in the new year.

At the same time, this piece of quiet and peace is also a great time to make some New Year Resolutions about your business and make some plans – a great time to write your business [plan for the year ahead!

In this video, I give you a great process to write your business plan and to write it quickly while you have some time available. “Quick” does not mean “cut-down”. Heck no, this process gives you a comprehensive business plan for the year ahead.

You don’t need to bring anything other than your own great knowledge of your business to the table. All you have to do is follow the steps.

The process really is simple:

  1. Get ready to plan – make some effective decisions about the planning process;
  2. Define your ultimate goal – what is your vision for the business?
  3. Understand were you are right now – in the context of where you want to go;
  4. Pick out the critical gaps and decide on your goals and strategies to bridge those gaps; and
  5. Put it together and make sure you create accountability systems.

As I detailed in the video, make sure that you make some important decisions about the planning process before you launch into it – decide what the plan is for, how long you will look ahead, who should be involved in the process, and where and when you will have the planning meetings.

Once you have set the parameters for the planning process, start by answering the question “where do you want to go?”

Describe your vision for your business. What will it look like and what will it do and how will it do it when you’ve “got there”?

Make it tangible by describing it from four different perspectives:

  1. From the perspective of customers;
  2. From the perspective of your employees;
  3. From the perspective of your finances; and
  4. From the perspective of your key business systems.

Once you have set your clear, long-term and singular strategic direction, take a look at where you are now.

Conduct your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats analysis of your current position. Honestly understand how far you are from your vision, and what you can do about it.

Then, using your understanding of where you want to go and where you are right now, identify the critical gaps between now and the future. Ask yourself what you need to do to bridge those key gaps and how long it will take. This gives you long-term goals.

Detail them into shorter-term milestone goals and then focus on the goals you have identified that you can achieve in the next 12 months. Dive deeper and write step by step action plans to implement over the next 12 months.

Finally, document your work and create accountability systems to set you up for a successful implementation of your plan. Schedule monitoring and evaluation reviews. Publicise goals and action steps, and then create rewards and “punishments” for achieving them or missing out. Review why you missed on some milestones – and correct and amend targets.

Completing these 5 easy steps of business planning will set you up with an implementable business plan rather than one that sits on your shelf. All you have to do is to bring your knowledge of your business and insert it into these steps.

If you want to dive deep into the business planning process, I have an online workshop-style program where you can complete your comprehensive business plan in just one day, starting from scratch. It’s called “Your One Day Business Plan” and it consists of a series of step by step modules where you watch an instructional video and read some downloaded material, then you download worksheets and a timed audio of me walking you through a workshop on the topic.

The program is timed so that you can complete it in one day – but if you don’t want to lose the buzz of your time off, you can always do it in your own time, taking an hour or two a day.

When you complete the program, you will end up with a documented implementable business plan with scheduled reviews and accountability systems. The worksheets are designed to be used as the documentation so you don’t even have to re-write the plan into the completed document.

You can read more and watch the video about it here, or if you like, get my eBook and checklist on business planning (that includes a free mini-training series on how to write your own business plan) which you can get here.

If you really want to grow your business and work on it rather than in it, you should go over to my website and register your email so that I can send you these free and valuable tools and resources, directly to your inbox.

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