(This article appeared in 2009 on FastCompany.com)
Businesses can do well without planning, many do. However, even successful businesses get to a point where growth becomes an elusive goal.
To become a high performing organization, to grow rapidly, a company really needs a planning and monitoring process. Got yours? I sure do have mine!
Back in 2000, a major shift in my business occurred when I came across the One Page Business Plan® process. Now, don’t let the simplicity of the name fool you. While the process helps you create a business administrative, management, operations, and marketing plan, it’s much more.
- Start a business by writing down important elements of what you’ve been thinking.
- Diagnosis of how every area of your current business is doing.
- Clarify your thinking and focus on the elements that are the most critical to your success.
- Test your ideas without having to put large amounts of cash at risk.
- Determine ways to boost the profits and performance of your small company.
- Is short enough that you’ll want to update it during “planning week” each year.
Planning on one page is a systematic and practical way to plan for a start-up. You’ll get what’s in your head down on paper where it does you the most good. If you’re a more seasoned business owner, department manager, or executive, it can help you plan for more success.
Together with reading the E-myth Revisited, by Michael Gerber, creating a business plan are “mandatory to do’s” for all business owners, in my opinion of course. Why? because the E-myth shows you what happens when you don’t have a plan and systems and how much better off you’ll be with them. And the One-Page Business Plan helps you simply create your plans and systems to monitor your progress. Creating a plan now, will save you hours upon hours’ worth of your valuable time and will help you make fewer large and costly mistakes.
Isn’t that what you need as a business owner? Systems that work and more time to do what you’re passionate about? Below are 10 key elements of any process.
Having a plan in place helps you choose new opportunities more wisely and waste less time because you use your plan to help you make better decisions. You’ll have not only your goals but strategies and action plans thoroughly thought out and ready to act upon.
A single page can contain all the elements you need to tell your employees, board of directors, potential partners or banker where you are taking your business and how you intend on getting there. Below are some important tips about creating your firm’s plan.
- The most important reason to have a business plan or strategic plan is to clarify your thinking, regardless of the size of your firm.
- Knowing where you’re going creates hope and enthusiasm about the future, especially on the days you doubt yourself, which we all have as owners.
- It facilitates creating and analytical thinking, problem solving, communication, and teamwork.
- It brings out areas where you’re procrastinating and where differences of opinions exist so you can deal with those issues.
- Writing a plan initiates the transformation from idea to reality and allows you to get feedback on a plan someone will actually read.
- You use your plan every day to create the day’s priorities and make decisions about your business.
- You use the action plans to keep you on track!
- If you need a plan for securing funding, a plan on one page becomes your summary.
(c) 2006 Updated 2009, 2019. Coach Maria.
Ready to create your firm’s strategic plan over a weekend virtually or in person in Brooklyn, NY? Contact Maria today. Maria also provides strategic planning on steroids workshops at firms and conferences, too.