Top 7 Ways to Build a Plan
By Kate Marsden
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If you don’t know where you are headed, chances are you’ll never get there. Work out where you want to get to and how you are going to get there. But the idea of having a plan puts many people off. Many small business owners did a plan when they started (often to get funding or support for the business) and do not want to go through that pain again. But actually a plan to move your business to the next level can be just as important and it doesn’t need to be a hard process – just follow these 7 steps:
- Don’t do all your plan at once – work through it bit by bit, over a period of time, and ask someone to help you so it is not as challenging for you on your own.
- Start with your aim - simple things like what do you need your profit to be in 12 months time and what will your business look like in that time? If you want to look further ahead, great – but even a plan for this year is better than no plan.
- Prioritise – this is not a list of all the things you would like to do or could do. It’s a plan of action for the most important things for your business.
- Break it into small steps - set milestones and key objectives to get you to your goals. Once you have things broken into small steps it’s easier to hold them in your mind and not let the day to day responsibilities drag you down.
- Write it down – don’t worry too much about the format or complicated documentation, but put it in writing. It will give you something to look back at through the year, it will force you to think in a bit more detail and it will give you something to show other people.
- Don’t look for perfection. Think of your plan like a route map – you know where you want to go and roughly which route you will take, but you cannot possibly predict everything you’ll encounter on the way. Accept that things will change and plans will need to be adjusted – but at least you can keep coming back to your end destination.
- Use it – once you have your plan, ask yourself constantly what you should be doing this day/week/month to move you forward. And challenge the other things ruthlessly. Make the plan a real tool for your business – if it feels too general and theoretical, then adjust it so it meets your needs.
Want help improving your profits? FREE reports to help Small Business Owners stop falling for the myths and start understanding the real rules of profits. Download instantly for fast profit results! Kate Marsden is The Profit Mechanic and gives resources, tools and support to Small Business Owners to improve their profits. Read more about The Profit Mechanic here.
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Article Submitted On: March 18, 2012