It’s Time to Create Your Business Plan

It’s 2015! What’s your business plan this year?

Art. Writing. Consulting or dog walking. Whatever your business goals, make a solid plan and write it down. Fancy-types might want you to believe only special people can make a real business plan. But they’re crazy. Anyone trying to make a living can – and should – have a plan. Here are a few quick, simple steps that will help you focus, feel motivated and most importantly, see results.

Step 1: Make a list of all the things you want to do this year. This is the fun part. If you’ve got a business, I know you’ve got 18 thousand ideas. Write them all down. Each and every one. Take breaks when your hand cramps but don’t stop until you’re done.

Step 2: Take Inventory of Your Resources. Here I’m talking time. Money. Capacity. Partnership. Opportunity. This is the stuff you’re going to stretch as far as it will go so don’t miss anything.

Step 3: Prioritize. Don’t groan. I hate this part too. But. You gotta do it!

Look, think of it this way. If your to-do list has 60 things on it and you actually did all 60 things today, they would all be little things. Each thing would be a teeny, tiny, incremental inch towards progress. And that’s only if you’re lucky enough to get them all done. Chances are you’d just get overwhelmed and watch TV.

But! If you just had two things on your list and you gave each one of those things a good old college try for a full 6 hours today, you’d see real progress, right? So pick your top things. Or at least, put the list you made in step 1 in most-to-least important order and stop at, say 10. If you get those done, you can have more.

And, while you’re prioritizing, take into account your resources. These are all opportunities. Get creative. Use them up. Make them work for you, baby.

Step 4: Plan. Ha! I bet you thought we were already planning! Nope. Now. We plan. Take your top 10 and tell yourself, or your dog, HOW you’re going to do each one. For example, if one of your priorities is to build a new website, make a list of each thing you’re going to do to get the website. Then put a date. Like this.

  • Research platforms by January 15
  • Select a platform on January 16
  • Take a class/watch a webinar/learn how to use the selected platform on January 19
  • Gather photos for the website by January 23
  • Write all the copy for the website by January 30
  • Build website by February 13
  • Ask mom to proof website on February 13
  • Finish the website on February 20
  • Leverage my network on February 23! Tell them all about the new website and ask them to share it.

Space your work out over the whole year so you don’t have to do everything in January. See? That’s why you prioritized.

Step 5: Be a jerk boss. Now that you’ve got your deadlines, you better hold your own feet to the fire. No one else will and then you won’t have a web site. So do your deadlines and make yourself work late if you need to. Eventually, you’ll learn. Maybe then you won’t push things so close to the end. And you as your boss will see you as a star employee.

You’re welcome.

Need help with your business plan? Contact me!