How is your business plan working for you?

How is your business plan working for you?

A business plan consists of a collection of your visions, intentions and ultimately your decisions. Every successful business starts with a plan.

It doesn’t matter if your business is made up of 100 people or just you. Having a business plan in place that you read often is your map, your GPS to success.

Having a clear business plan allows you to not only see the path before you, it also allows you to create the strategies that will keep you moving forward down that path.

Well written plans help you to answer the questions: What is being built? What do you want your business to look like in 1, 3 or 5 years?

Putting your vision onto paper is powerful.

It is imperative that all business owners have a business plan and review it often, every year at the very least.

When speaking with business owners, I have found they think a business plan has to be complicated, long and arduous. This is not true. A succinct business plan that is only one page is just as powerful, if not more, than a 50 page plan.

A concise business plan includes 5 aspects: a vision, a mission, objectives, strategies and the action plan.

Your business vision should answer the question, what are you building? It is a statement or two that paints a picture, with words, of the purpose, design and structure of your business. What is the overall dream that you have for your business when it is thriving?

The second aspect is the mission of the business. This is a short statement that communicates your company’s focus and what it will provide to customers. This should answer who the business will serve and what it will do for them. Often companies post their mission statement in the lobby or front office for everyone to view.

The objectives of the business should make clear the results that you want to achieve in specific, measurable language. The objectives could also be called your goals. They clarify what you are going to do to build the business. When writing your objectives be sure to include the actions that you want to take, specific results from those actions and a date to be completed. The business objectives should driver the behaviors of everyone helping to build the business.

The next aspect is strategy. Success doesn’t happen by accident, it is planned. Having a carefully crafted set of strategies gives you the road map for how you will carry out your objectives. Your strategies help to establish your guidelines when making business decisions.

And the last aspect of your business plan is your action plan. This is not your daily tasks or job description. Your action plan will be made up of business building projects and programs to implement your strategies and achieve your objectives.

This is how you create your overall business vision. What is the work that needs to be done to grow the business?

As you go through each aspect writing out your ideas and visions, some parts of your plan will flow together easily. Other parts may take more time, brainstorming and editing to get all the details.

Having a simple plan on paper, that you can review with employees and read daily will help to keep you motivated and on track.

Building your business is a marathon, not a sprint. A business plan keeps you moving forward in the right direction.

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