While there is a lot to be said for long term business plans, 3 to 5 years, I am a great believer in having short term plans. A long term plan gives you an overall direction for your business, but mini business plans are necessary to achieve the company vision.
The most important time in any month are the two hours spent on developing the Monthly Strategic Focus Plan©. This should be done the first business day of the month. The following is an outline to guide this planning process:
- The company vision developed in the long term plan is at the top of the page to remind everyone of where the company is going.
- This next step develops a vision plan for the month by answering the following questions: “Where do you want your business to be at the end of the month?”
- Next is the listing of accomplishments achieved the previous month
- Complete an analysis of goals not reached last month
- Make a list of opportunities that exist this coming month.
- Next specific goals are set (and prioritized) that are expected to be reached during the month. The monthly vision along with identified goals are the company’s agenda for the month.
- Strategies, mini action items, are then developed for each of the goals
- Time frames are set for completion of each goal and assignments are made as necessary.
The biggest benefit of this system is that of focus. It brings to the forefront what has to be accomplished and avoids the “tomorrow syndrome” that sometimes exists in small businesses.
If you use a business consultant only once a month, then this is the session that the consultant should facilitate for you.
If you use this system for 12 months you will notice a significant increase in your bottom line as well as having a better operating system in place.
Flying by the “seat of your pants” is ok as long as you don’t care where you land! Nick J. Petra CFP
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