Ugh, that time of year again. Refresh, review, or just CREATE your business plan. If you read that and got pumped, high fives. If that made you feel hopelessness, read on.
Business strategy used to intimidate me. I thought it was for ‘others’ who were ‘more strategic than me’. Until I realized that business strategy was just making plans, and breaking up the parts of the plans into projects.
It’s that simple. Here’s my five steps.
I can’t tell you how many times I sit down with a client and I ask what their goal is and they really don’t know how to answer it.
Look, can’t get to your destination if you don’t know where it is, right? Can’t take a road trip and get any further than your driveway if you don’t know which way to turn.
I see my clients achieve the most when their goal is 6-12 months out. That’s not to say don’t dream big – no, please do. And then let’s pull in what a goal could be that you could keep momentum to achieve for the next 6-12 months.
Oh, and btw, your goal should be something that really lights you up.
Let’s get to know your goal. Write out a list of what I call basecamps. These are the milestones that we have to hit to achieve the goal. Think of climbing Mt. Everest; you’d have to cross basecamp one before you could get to basecamp three, right?
So grab a blank piece of paper, and just start making a list of everything you can think of that you would need to achieve in order to build to your goal.
Sometimes the basecamps can be broad like ‘make a decision about abc’ and sometimes they’re really specific like ‘grow social media following by 10,000.’
I really enjoy this part of the process. It can be addicting to make plans – and the key is to follow through. The carrying through is the money.
I usually will business plan with a glass of pinot grigio and some of my favorite background tunes on. Hey, you might as well enjoy this, you’re mapping out your growth after all, right!?
Now take all of your list, and start on a fresh piece of paper. Let’s say this month is November. Put all of the basecamps you need to achieve in November under that month. Then you’d do the same for December, January, February, March, and April.
I often find for myself and clients when we go through this exercise, that the business plan is more robust, more actions to take, in the first three months, and more vague and less actions outlined for the final three months. That’s totally normal.
Think of it this way, when you drive your car at night, your headlights show you the space right in front of you the clearest, right? You can’t see the rest of your journey, but you know your destination and keep driving in that direction. It’s the same for business planning.
And that’s awesome, because that’s what builds momentum.
Now for the good stuff. Take all of your basecamps for the current month you’re in, and you’re going to break them out week by week and put the appropriate basecamps underneath each one.
You’ll often find in this step it gets a lot more clear as well the additional activities you need to take to work through your business plan. Write those in too.
Friends, this is the step that most business owners and leaders tell me they need the most support with. Accountability.
It’s one thing to make the plan. It’s another to stick to it. To have the discipline to see it through day to day and week to week. To make smart decisions to shuffle the activities around in a way that lends to momentum and kicking butt.
Need help? Reach out to someone you respect the hell out of and ask them to hold you accountable. This does not mean babysitting. Or them checking in on you. This is you reaching out to them telling them you’ve done whatever it is you committed to.
If you want more support creating plans for your growth, I’d love to chat. The clients I work with come to me wanting to build a robust business plan, and have the accountability to stick to it.
You can reach me at email@example.com or here on my site at the CEO Corner.
Enjoy that business planning!
PS, ready to start your business? Don’t delay and snag my free Business Checklist to get started!
P.S.S. Ready to take action, make a plan, and roll with some incredible momentum? Then you’ll want to check out my Momentum Journal. It’s been designed to leverage your momentum for optimal growth, and keep you from taking action that actually moves you one step forward and two steps backward. Check it out here.