My Career, My Choice
Crafting your Business Plan
Module 6, Lesson 1
Crafting Your Business Plan
Congratulations on getting this far! Now that you've got a good feel for the areas you need to fine-tune, it's time to put this into a Business Plan.
Earlier in the training, we mentioned that Goals, Initiatives, and Metrics formed part of your Inner Compass. Here, in the Business Plan, is where these three elements, meet the personal development plans you've identified in the last module to create an action plan for the next 12 months.
This isn't about putting more into your already full day.
It's about having a strategic plan that ensures that you are putting your focus where it needs to be. So that you are living, loving, and leading at the level you want. So that you make the most meaningful dent in the universe you can.
Once you've created it, keep your business plan somewhere that you can review it regularly. To make sure you are tracking toward what you have said is critical.
Let's take a quick tour of each of the elements within your business plan.
Here we set a priority focus for your year. Think of it a bit like a rallying cry. It should be the equivalent of a Twitter headline - short and sharp. You can choose to make your focus very specific or quite broad. In the samples provided, below, you've got examples of each.
You'll use this Focus, throughout the year, to ask yourself: "Is what I'm about to do right now, moving me toward or away from my focus this year?"
For example, a leader might decide that his or her focus for the year is to "Be the leader of a Rockstar Team"
Here you are deciding the big buckets you must give your attention to, and that will help you achieve your focus. You should have 5 or fewer Objectives. Otherwise, you run the risk of scattered attention which can undermine your effectiveness.
In our example, the leader could choose Fine Tune Believing, Build Emotional Intelligence, Inspire Innovation, Grow Personal Power.
Next, you need to decide the Initiatives, for each of the Key Objectives. Try not to have more than 3-5 bullet points under each Key Objective. Once again, if you have too many your attention will be scattered.
For example, under the Key Objective of Building Believing, one of the leader's Initiatives for the year might be to learn how to, and then implement a coach-up, coach-out system. And, a second Initiative might be to set up 4 Moments that Matter celebrations.
I'm sure you know all about SMART goals. I doubt you could have avoided being banged over the head by those principles at some point in your career. So, I'm not going to cover SMART goals. If you do need a reminder, then access the Potential into Reality training.
Without goals and feedback, you'll drift
Imagine I take you down to the local bowling alley, and you've never heard of bowling before. I set you up to play. However, I don't tell you how you'll know if you've been successful.
I don't give you a target to strive for. Even worse - every time the bowling ball gets halfway down the lane, I pull a big curtain down, so that you can't see how many pins you've dropped. You don't know whether the ball went straight down the lane or trickled off to the left or right.
Two things will happen fast:
- 1You won't improve. Because you don't know what you need to do to improve.
- 2You'll probably get bored and stop playing/trying.
Could you imagine wanting to stay there for a few hours - aimlessly throwing the ball down the lane, with no feedback, no target?
Here is something you need to understand: We are an innately competitive race that wants to continuously improve.
Every day of the week, people are down at sporting events chasing down goals. Getting measured by how they are performing. Trying to win that Gold Medal or Championship. People love the thrill of the chase. The thrill of competing against themselves or others. The thrill of improving.
If you haven't set up the conditions for you to feel those thrills, you are shutting down some of your emotional touch-points. You are likely getting lackluster performance. People are motivated to achieve things they can see, touch and measure. This is why it is so important to set goals and track and measure performance regularly.
I set goals and track my performance to make myself an 'elite athlete'
If your team is just going through the motions, with little sparkle to their performance, check your goals and tracking system.
Many organizations I visit suffer from this problem.
They don't have goals that are engaging people. They don't have goals that everyone focuses upon. Or, if they do have goals, they are tucked away somewhere, and tracking and recording of progress isn't happening.
It's a quick and easy fix to help you improve performance. Sure, there are likely to be other problems that need addressing too. However, this is one quick and easy step in the right direction
For the moment, when you are setting goals consider the following:
Your action plans outline the activities you will undertake throughout the year to achieve your goals and focus. Make sure that you spread things out throughout the year, giving yourself plenty of time to be successful.
Word of warning. When you brainstorm your action items, you may end up with a very long list, which can be overwhelming.
To avoid overwhelm, keep a master list of potential action items separate from your Business Plan.
Map into your Business Plan the 3-5 Action Items that are most critical for each quarter, and that you need to keep your focus upon.
Then each quarter review your goals/focus etc and add in the additional action items for that quarter that will support you achieving your goals.
Your metrics are how you measure your progress. What are the things you can count or measure that would tell you how you are progressing? Think of it as collecting the evidence that shows you are succeeding. Say, for example, you had a gym that had a goal of Retaining Customers. How could the business owner measure that?
You can't go and look for a retained customer. You can't recognize them when they walk in, "Is that a retained customer?" Well, you possibly could, if you knew all your customers, but if you've got hundreds of them you cant.
So, how do you find the evidence that a customer is retained?
Well, you can:
The key here is that metrics don't have targets against them. That comes in goal setting. Your metrics are simply your way of collecting evidence that you are on track. They give you a quick heads-up if you are straying away from those elements that will enable you to achieve your goals.
In the Take Action section there are three examples of a One-Page Business plan.
The first one is an example of how you would do a one-page business plan for YOUR business.
The second is an example of how I'd do a one-page business plan for a small business like Make A Dent Leadership.
The third is an example of how a Sales Manager might put a business plan together with his or her team. My suggestion, with this third example, because it is a team business plan, is that you develop it with input from your team and your manager.
To make sure you are tracking toward what you have said is important, review your business plan regularly.
If you find yourself procrastinating, getting overwhelmed, delayed, detoured or distracted. If you aren't making the progress you want and need, then contact me to discuss being coached. This is a paid service, but I should be able to assist you get on track fairly quickly.
Time to Take Inspired Action
Download the Resources
and Take Inspired Action
Download the sample Business Plans and blank template in the format you prefer.
Download the Goals Checklist in the format you prefer.