In this era of instant gratification the term” long term planning” may be a misnomer. There are two types of plans, the first and most frequently requested is the “I need money now” plan. In developing this quick cash plan the goal is to develop and implement a plan which will produce short term results but which may not be repeatable on an ongoing basis. Clients that require this quick fix plan are usually in a serious financial situation and this effort, without guarantees, is an attempt to generate a cash infusion to allow first for survival and then the opportunity to develop and implement a sustainable growth plan.
The second type of plan is one that is built on a solid foundation which includes a qualified prediction as to where the business “type” is headed and where the opportunities exist. It includes not only an attainable “stretch vision” but also staff, budget and target market analysis.
I call the second plan a long term plan which is detailed for a year with accountability check points every month. Every six months this plan has a “tweaking” review where needed adjustments are to be made. At the end of a year the entire planning process is reviewed in a one to two day session. Using the experience from the past year and reviewing the vision and a new analysis of staff, budget, operational procedures and target market analysis, a new plan may be developed or the last years plan may be “tweaked” and kept for another year.
If the proper homework is done in preparing a “long term plan”, then it should be tried for the full year. Constantly seeking a new direction is expensive and sends the wrong message to staff, clients and the target market.
A plan cannot exist in the mind of a business owner. Unless it is written down and milestones (checkpoints) are set at least on a quarterly basis (I check my client’s bottom line progress on monthly basis) there is no real plan.
One of my favorite messages to business owners’ is “Be in business for yourself, but never be in business by yourself”. The best possible support for your business is to have a qualified coach support you on your business journey.
You can’t be everything to everybody, that includes yourself. Nick J. Petra CFP
Support from Nick is available anywhere in the United States in person or via Skype.
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