Do you have your Business Plan? If yes, do you have your Action Plan? One of the first questions I ask entrepreneurs is: do you have a business plan? Most answer NO and sometimes I find the rare ones who answer YES. The subsequent question is: when was the last time you reviewed it? It’s an easy way to weed out those who are doing well and succeeding in business. 😉
A business plan should be your map, a workbook, your personal tracker that amends and flexes with your business as it grows. It can be as simple as a 1-page document or an elaborate 42-page bound booklet that’s used for financing and professional use. The key is to USE IT and transfer those ideas into action steps. Often, plans get put away in desks/drawers/files and never see the light of day again.
So today, I recommend you dig it out, review it, and put it to use to create your Action Plan. Your plan already says what your business does and how you should grow, now it’s time to plot out the steps you’re going to take to keep/put you on track, so you can get there faster and more direct.
3 STEPS FOR YOUR ACTION PLAN:
#1 – GET THE KNIFE AND FORK!
We all heard the quote “the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time”, so the best way to get your plan into place is to break it down into small manageable chunks. Figure out what needs to be done (or caught up) immediately, in the next month, quarter, and year. Then plot it out on your calendar!
#2 – IF NOT ME, WHO?
Let’s face it, there are parts of our business that we all love and there are parts that are maybe not so lovable or fun. If it’s something you dread doing, if it slows you down, or you avoid at all costs – it’s time to delegate and/or hire out! I give you permission to hire someone to keep the parts of your business functional that aren’t your functions (just in case you needed to hear that to proceed). Consider it an investment, not a cost! How much does it cost you in time, energy, and lost resources when you are doing the things that take you away from the activities that generate sales? I can’t stress enough how important mastering this step is!
#3 – REVIEW, REFRESH, REVISE!
Revisit your action plan daily, weekly, monthly. Take the time to stop and assess what you have done and what needs to be done. Paying attention to what you are doing helps you find opportunities for what you should be doing as well. Most importantly, stay flexible! If you see you need to tweak the plan, TWEAK IT! Don’t get off course because you weren’t prepared to adjust the steering for the bends in the track or obstacles along the way. Slow down a bit, make the adjustment, and then pick up speed again.
The key to successful action steps is pay attention to what is/isn’t working for your business as much as you pay attention to what you are doing daily. You should pull yourself out of the grind to see the areas that need the oil to run smoother. Also, stay motivated - celebrate your successes along the way! It’s a lot easier to maintain the momentum and motivation for you and your team if you are celebrating the great things you accomplish and hand out a few high fives on a regular basis.
You’ve got this! You’ve got the plan, that creates the actions, that will lead to your success! If you need help or guidance to get it set up, reach out. The key is to know where you want to end up and then set out the steps for yourself and team to put and keep you on the right track to get there.