By: Jim Horan
Clarity is important.
Do you know where your business is going in the next 5 years? Can you articulate that well?
Are you clear about what actions you need to take over the next 12 months to build that future business? Are you taking those actions daily? Or are you just fire-fighting? Stop making excuses!
If you are new to business or a business veteran, this exercise is worth going through to gain clarity about your business and your role in building it.
The book is a workbook. It walks you step by step from the vision statement of your business to your actual action plan over the next 12 months.
This end product is an easy to read plan that you can use to plan your week or even present to clients to show where you are going within the next 5 years and what actions you are currently taking to get there.
Here is a summary of the steps. You need to get the book to see more examples to keep you moving when you get stuck.
- Vision Statement
What are you building? What do you want your business to look like in 1, 3, or 5 years?
Type of business + Geographic Scope & Projected Annual Sales + Core Products/Services + Customer Profile
Within the next ____ years grow (Company Name) into a (est. annual sales) (geographic scope) (type of business) company providing (list 2-3 of your most successful products/services) to (list 2-3 characteristics of your ideal clients/customers).
2. Mission Statement
Why does this business exist?
We help (recipient of your products/services) (goal or benefit of your products/services).
Ideal Client Description + Goal/Benefit of your Products/Services
What business results will be measured?
Write 6-8 objectives. Short statements that define business success. What business results will we measure?
Action to be taken + Graphable result + Completion Date
4 categories: Financial, Customer, Process improvement, Learning & Growth
How will this business be built?
Set the direction. Describe ideal clients and how you will attract them.
Define your business model.
Establish guidelines for evaluating important decisions.
Set limits on what your company will or will not do.
Business-building activity or goal + How it will be done
5. Action Plans
What is the work to be done?
This is the work that must be done to build your business!
All executives and business owners struggle with the balance between “daily fire fighting” and “business-building” projects. The Action Plans you formulate should be significant business-building projects, not a list of your normal, ongoing tasks and routines. Your business plan is not your job description.
It is highly unlikely that every Strategy and Objective will have an Action Plan in this plan!
If you find you have more than 9 Actions Plans, it’s possible you need to write a separate One Page Plan for one or more of the major projects…or more likely, you have defined too many projects for this year.
Business-building Project or Program + Launch or Completion Date
Step 1: Pick 2 objectives.
Step 2: Brainstorm 2-4 Projects to attain each objective.
Step 3: Identify and estimate resources needed for projects.
Step 4: Craft Action Plan with completion date and personnel responsible.
Step 5: Input expense and capital estimates into your operating budget.
Now that I have crafted my version of this plan, I will present it to my partners. From there, they will each create their own one page summaries and we will present to each other. The end product will be a collaboration from us all to create a unified 5 year vision and craft the strategy from there.