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Where do you want to go and how do you get there? Business Plans!

What are your business plans for 2013?

The last few weeks have been tough; you have had to lay guys off because of the winter, you are struggling to fill up your board, you wonder if you will make it through the months ahead.

Of course you will!  This is because you are in the habit of planning and communicating that plan.  Now, we are going to look ahead and plan for 2013.

Where do you start a business plan?

The first step in creating a business plan, is to take a moment to reflect on the last year.  What worked, what didn’t, what can you improve upon.   By identifying your struggles and successes you are in a better position to use them to your advantage.

Take those issues and hold them up against your Vision, the roadmap to your company.  Did they reflect where you want to go?  Perhaps some of your struggles may be a result of not keeping your Vision in mind as you ran your business.  How do they support your Mission, the purpose of your company?  Pull back and look to see if you were making decisions based on that purpose.  Look at your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.  This assessment allows you to have the Big Picture of your company in mind.  Pay close attention to both your weaknesses and your opportunities.  These can frame what you need to do to prepare for next year.

Now you are ready to look to the future.  You have both your Vision and your Mission at the ready.  This is important as you want to be sure you are focused on the global state of your business, not just the scheduling calendar.  It can be difficult to remove yourself from looking at the everyday needs of your business but, if you can do it, you will find that those needs then are easier to drill down on and deal with.  Take the time to identify, now, what your annual objectives will be.  Include revenue goals, customer satisfaction rates, leads and gross profit.

With your goals in mind, develop strategies to achieve those goals.

  • What do you need to do to surpass $1 Million Dollars in sales?
  • How will you incentivize your team to get stellar customer report cards?
  • How can you control your expenses to achieve the profit you are looking for?
  • What kind of Marketing can you do to increase your leads?

With these goals, you can create an Action plan, directly related to your Vision, with clear dates identified for completion and those people who are responsible for meeting them.   Who, on your team, will be monitoring monthly goals? Who is looking at your P&L regularly to maintain an eye on gross profit?  How will customer report cards be evaluated?  Action items not only need to be assigned to someone, they need due dates.  This creates accountability both for yourself and your team.  Take the time to communicate what the action items are and be sure that everyone understands the timing.  You can not over-communicate this as it is essential to the running of your business.

Your action plan is a one year breakdown of where you want your company to go.   Make sure you have a business plan to work on your weaknesses and that you continue to emphasize your strengths.  This is the time to evaluate, plan and move forward!

Happy Planning!

 

 

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There Are 10 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Times are slow. People are more tuned into XMAS, which in understandble. Money is tight even at the best of times. Our company is taking the time to update our wensite, advertise more and spend a little down time with family. In our line of field we know it will pick up inthe spring…then we’ll be too busy to think!!

  2. Daniel Sides says:

    I agree with this post. In order to have a successful business plan in the future we must look back on the last year’s activity, plans that worked and also the one’s that didn’t worked, with these you can sort out things and move forward.

  3. “All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, an’ I’m fine.” – Great article – My business plans for 2013 is nothing short of world domination, but I will be happy at least of meeting my primary goal is keeping my customers happy 🙂

  4. Warren says:

    Look at it like this. When your driving your car, your eyes are supposed to be taking everything in up to a 1/4 mile ahead of you, so you know what your going to be up against.

    The same goes for business. How do you know what tomorrow or that rest of the year will bring if your not focusing on the future. Trying to focus on today and the days throughout the entire year, is a difficult balance, but achievable.

  5. Dustin says:

    Good post. We’ve been in business for 2 decades, but are putting more of a focus on adding online marketing and social networking into our business plan.

  6. Chris Haught says:

    Thanks for stopping by Dustin, we have plenty of articles on using SM here, and some great contributors, let us know if you need some help!

  7. T.J says:

    Awesome stuff! Thank you so very much!!
    Any recommendation on where I can get some professional help with writing a proper business plan?

    Thanks again!

    T.J.

    • Chris Haught says:

      TJ, Two of our BP Team Members are professionals, Andrew with Summit (check the author bio on this article) and Linnea Blair of Advisors on Target (click on the ad in the upper right). Both are excellent choices. You can also look in your area for a SCORE group, or a BNI, the college in my town operates a small business center. Your accountant might be a good resource as well. Let us know how it works out.

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