The 100 Day Challenge, Day 91:
In spent the day yesterday with a fantastic group of women at the Annual Women Business Owners Network Spring Conference. We covered a lot of important topics, and even got to hear from Madeline Kunin, former Governor of the State of Vermont on women in business today.
One of the things that stuck out, for me, was the topic of business planning. It became apparent through a panel and through talking with other attendees that people are operating without plans. It is pretty common, from what I am observing.
I love the old saying- “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.” which has been attributed most often to Ben Franklin. If you are running a business with no business plan then your chances of success are slim. And not just any old plan, you need a good plan!
I work with my business coaching clients on planning each month. If you are in business OR you are you have duties in your job and intend to do your best work, make sure you that you have a plan that covers all areas which may include:
Financials (always a lot to be learned here, and people become fearful because they don’t understand the numbers. Hire someone to teach you- today!)
The Numbers (this is different from financial- these are the numbers you need in other areas like how many contacts you need to make each day to prospective customers, etc)
and more. Make sure you are complete with every detail.
Here are 7 steps for productively working with your plan-
– make sure you treat it as a working document, it can change over the course of the year. That means keeping it handy, not collecting dust or hidden in the drawer of your desk- which leads to …
-Review your plan completely each morning prior to starting your work day. This is a brief run through to remind yourself of goals and priorities.
-Plan at least 1 hour each week to sit with your plan, work on it, adjust it and make the next week’s goals and schedule actions based on it.
-Have someone trusted, who understands business plans, review yours with you. Check for reality and for completeness. Does your plan make sense? Did you forget anything?
-Use your plan for guidance when you feel off track or working on making big decisions.
-Have a retreat planning day in November to create the next year’s business plan.
-Make sure your plan is comprehensive, but sleek and efficient. No bulky plans needed.