If you fail to plan you plan to fail.
To be honest I don’t think it’s all that simple. BUT it’s a proven fact that business plans, which includes goal setting, lead to far better results, than not.
And business plans are essential right? Yes they are. But as a small business owner juggling everything (as you don’t have a corporate team) including family and more, your plans, business or otherwise, are constantly interrupted.
You still need to plan.
But rather than grand plans that sometimes set you up to fail, as a small business owner, a business road map might be easier to follow. And consequently revise, when life gets in the way.
Here’s what I find useful in building my business road map rather than business plan:
- Create a 12 month road map.
- Start with the end in mind. Where do you want to be in 12 months i.e. I want my turnover to be 500k per annum?
- Work backwards (or on the points between now and the 12 month destination). To work out what you need to do month to month to get to where you want to be i.e. you might need 10 new clients a month.
- You should end up with a set of monthly plans / goals as well as an end goal for the 12 month period.
- The monthly goals should prompt you to create action lists i.e. I need to cold call 5 prospects a week etc. They also drive budgets i.e. Google adwords budget of $1000 per month for 6 new clients a month.
- Basically you should end up looking forwards and backwards over the map. And that that should guide you to your action list and the money needed to fund any actions.
- Make time in your diary to review each month. Ideally review it with someone, (you’ll need up to date profit & loss and cash flow reports). For my clients that’s me (an hour free each month to talk about anything they want as part of our fixed-price Bookkeeping). But it can as easily be a PA or a coach, a paid person or a friend.
When life gets in the way and plans go out the window, know that it happens to EVERY small business owner, every day. And that it’s ok and normal. In fact, imagine you are juggling some balls, one is work, one is spouse, one is kids, and one is extended family (there may be others). I want you to imagine that all of these balls are glass EXCEPT the work one, its rubber. If you’re going to drop a ball, drop the rubber ball, it’ll bounce back. The others may not.
Take it easy and have fun.