Being ready to write a great business plan means your mindset is in a positive place and you’re ready to take action. Your business plan is going outline the guiding principles on how you will achieve your goals and you should think of it as a fluid document which grows and develops with your business. There are a several steps to take in deep detail to write a great business plan, and many deserve a far more bespoke consideration than this article today. But here are 3 key elements to the over-riding purpose…
Firstly, set your goals
This is such a simple starting point but is often overlooked, not because business owners don’t have any goals or don’t think about them, but because it’s so obvious it just doesn’t get the commitment it needs. And you really need to bring your goals to life. For example, every working day I take action linked to one (or more) of my goals, otherwise I’m just not working towards them. Think of this in another context, take the example of a marathon runner. Their goal might be to run 26.2 miles, on race day, faster than they ran it last year. They will have a training plan, it will likely include a range of running sessions (the actions), dates and times (the commitment), meetings with their coach and physio (expert support and guidance), regular performance reports (test and measure results). If they want to hit their goal they will need to live and breathe this training plan for the next 12 weeks. It’s the same with a business plan, you need to state your goal and build a list of actions you need to take to achieve it.
Next, decide who will own the goals
Once you’ve got your list of actions to take, you need to decide who’s going to do them. One of the best ways to scale a business quickly is to bring in a team to support key growth tasks so you can focus more time on strategy and less time on day-to-day activities. It’s tempting to keep control of everything but remind yourself why you started your business in the first place. It’s unlikely it was to spend your time being a Marketeer, Customer Service Representative, Management Accountant and Office Administrator all at once (the list could go on!). So focus on what you’re good at and bring in the experts sooner rather than later to support what you need to get done. Delegation of tasks shows great confidence and will give you the freedom to focus on growth.
Finally, hold yourself accountable
This is the final commitment to getting a job done. When will you do it by? We ask this question as part of every transaction we make. If you buy something online, you want to know when it will be delivered. If you’re having an extension on your home you need to know when will the work start and when will it be finished. The date by which you will hit your goal gives you urgency and is a dedication to make it happen. If you’re as busy as you think you are, you need to hold yourself accountable by giving yourself a deadline and don’t let yourself down. If you don’t think this is achievable, enlist the help of an accountability partner who will make sure you stay on track.
If you would like to learn more about business planning, goal setting and accountability, click here to register for GrowthCLUB – our 90 day business planning workshop.