Psst. Don’t tell anyone. I’m not sure if this is against the rules or not, but this isn’t your average article on how to write a business plan. Instead, it’s an actual business plan worksheet. So yeah, from a distance, it sort of looks like an average article. But I’ve disguised it. Our secret.
So I’d like you to treat it as such – a planning document. Take it into a quiet room without internet access, a computer and turn off your phone – okay, put it on silent.
Let’s get to it.
First, let’s start at the end. Pretend its January 1, 2018. You’re celebrating the New Year of course. But what is it about 2017 that you’re also celebrating? Did you break your sales record? Let’s say you did. How many homes did you sell? What’s your life-like now after having reached that amazing new goal? How do you feel? What do your family and co-workers think about you? Take some time and jot down answers to these questions. Be specific. Take this seriously because this will be your 2017 finish line – your goal. Picture yourself running through that finish line – the crowd’s cheering. You’re smiling a huge smile. Birds are singing – you get the picture.
Now let’s time travel back through 2016 by looking in the rearview mirror. Take some time to write down what went well in 2016. Again, be specific. What makes you most proud of this year? What did you do right? And on the other side of the coin, what didn’t go so well? Where can you improve?
Next, let’s look at where you are now. How would you define where you are today? What’s the rock in your shoe? What’s bugging you about your job? What’s your current financial status or need? What hurdles appear to be in your way to reaching what you wrote about 2017? What’s necessary to reach your goal? Fill in the blank: If ___________ happened, I would feel much more satisfied and fulfilled in my job. This may be one item or 10 items. Think about it for a few minutes and write what comes to mind. Don’t edit yourself. Just write.
Now let’s take a look at the marketplace. Who’s your primary target? Who truly needs your services? What are their characteristics? Where do they live now? How will these customers learn about your services? How will they evaluate your services compared to your competition? What will make them want to choose you over anyone else?
And finally, let’s talk about execution. Who’s going to do what and by when? Who will help you – who will be on your team? Who’s going to hold you and your team accountable? A coach? A mentor? How do you see the business progressing with dates set as benchmarks? Write as many reasons as you can about why you will succeed in 2017?
Now all that’s left is to prepare. But not just any kind of preparation. The kind of preparation that makes you realize you’ve already won – you’ve already achieved your 2017 goals. Muhammad Ali once said, “The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses — behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.”
Regardless if you want the free plan, let me hear from you anyway. How are you at planning? Do you have a plan for 2017? If not, why not? How important do you rate planning?