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Here are 8 simple steps to creating your business plan for success:
- Start with the end in mind – where do you want your business to go? Write down your goals for the next year, 3 years, 10 years. Really challenge yourself – Dream BIG! If you think small, you’ll play small – so think BIG!
- Know where you are now, financially, systematically, operationally. This means you’re going to have to get organized with your financials and conduct a little internal assessment of where your are now.
- Analyze the gaps to see where you need to invest more time/effort/resources. What skills to you need to develop? Where do you need to shift your time and resources? What money and success mindsets and habits do you need to adopt to help close those gaps?
- Clarify your target market , understand your market and competitors, and build your marketing plan. Do your homework and get really crystal clear here – it will drive almost everything else in your business plan, including how you’re going to fill some of those gaps you identified.
- Build your service offerings in such a way that addresses your clients biggest pain points with ease, and create a financial plan based delivering those service offerings (focus on a few key priorities instead of trying to offer everything under the sun to everyone). You can now tweak and finalize your marketing plan.
- Identify systems and your team that will support you and your business. You can’t do it all yourself, as least not efficiently and without burnout. You need a team, whether it’s hiring employees or hiring out certain functions of your business (such as bookkeeping, sales and administration). Decide on the systems that are going to support you the most and create the most ease for you in your business. Systems can be as simple as checklists and calendars, to full operations manuals and fully automated end-to-end solutions. Automate as much as possible.
- Have back up plans for when things don’t quite go as initially planned. Every business hits roadblocks at some point – power failures, illness, market crashes, changes in direction. And you need to be prepared to make detours so that the roadblocks don’t derail your journey to success.
- Start driving your way to success, and celebrate the milestones as you reach them. Check in with how you’re doing against your plans, and build in what I call reflection days – days that you take to reflect how your week/month/year went, what you’re doing well, and where you’ve fallen short, so you can adjust your course as needed.