How to build a plan you'll actually stick to, part 1
When you go on vacation, the first thing you do is throw a bunch of stuff into a bag. You include everything from swim trunks to a parka. Next, you jump in the car and just start driving -- or flying -- you haven’t decided. You just start.
Wrong. No one travels this way.
You need a plan. That starts with knowing where you are and where you are going.
The same goes for your business. If you don’t know where you want your business to go, how are you supposed to get there?
Annual planning is like having a map for you and your business to follow. This protects you against detours and unexpected obstacles you may come across. And if you get off track you can always find your way by referring to the “map” or your annual plan.
Get out the map.
First, you’ll need to establish where you are and where you want to go. After all, you can’t figure out how to get to point B if you don’t know where both point A and B are.
When planning a trip, it's easy. Find the place on the map where you are, find the place you want to go, and see which roads connect the two.
For planning your business, we'll create two written descriptions. One detailing where you are now, and one detailing where you want to be in 12 months. Each description will paint a picture with words about the state of your business. They'll include things like:
- A description of who your customers are
- A description of what your company is known for
- A description of what products or services you provide
- How you feel about running the business
- How is the business serving you
- Quantitative measures like sales, profits, number of locations, number of clients, etc.
Start by knowing where you are.
In the first description, you'll write will talk about your business today. You want to capture a snapshot of where you are now.
Just like travel, you won’t plan a trip from New York to Chicago by starting in Los Angeles. So when you write your current narrative you shouldn’t pretend your business is anywhere except where it is today. There is no good or bad, your current situation just is. So, record the reality of where you are today.
Describe where you want to go.
Write a second description for your business 12 months from now. Still write in the present tense, but imagine 12 months have gone by. This describes the business you’re going to create over the next 12 months.
Your goal at this point isn't to figure out exactly how you're going to make your future business happen. It's simply to capture where you want to be a year from now. Figuring out how to get there comes next.
You can’t know what works until you know what you’re working with. Having these two descriptions is important so you can see what you will need to work on to get there. That's exactly what we'll be talking about next.
If you are having trouble knowing exactly where your business should be going or what you need to make your journey successful, we can help!
Book a free 1-hour Breakthrough Consultation with us.