Simple clear purpose in principle gives rise to complex intelligent behavior. Complex rules and regulations give rise to simple and stupid behavior. -- Dee HockIf that is so… then your business plan should only be one, maybe two pages. Now, wait a minute! I can already hear your limiting beliefs crop up. The committee inside your head is attempting to get you to believe things like: "A business plan on only a couple pages can't be done. It couldn't possibly capture everything my business is about and where we are headed. My manager(s) or VP(s) wouldn't take it or me seriously. My banker would laugh at me." Oh contraire.Be careful here; As leadership and management expert Eugene Taurman so eloquently states: "What you see depends on what you thought before you looked.”When it comes to business plans, most entrepreneurs and sales people slip into a low grade coma anticipating the exercises of creating vision and mission statements. Heck, go ask 10 experts what is the difference between a vision and mission statement and you get 12 different answers. It's no wonder we can all relate to the following definition:A mission statement is defined as "a long awkward sentence that demonstrates management's inability to think clearly." All good companies have one. From The Dilbert Principle, 1996You see, the exercise of gaining clarity and eliminating the fluff and fat is the key. You must become crystal clear and hold daily, in the forefront, your vision of what you are ultimately trying to accomplish. We can't become what we want to be by remaining what we are. It is going to take some time, thought-energy and work. However, you have a choice here. You can either make it drudgery or you can be inspired by the process. Again, it's your choice. Choose wisely.
What are you building and what do you want it to look like when you get there? Why does your business exist? What are the company’s unwavering values? What results will you measure and thereby achieve? How will you build or grow this company? What is the work to be done, by whom, and by when?That's pretty simple right? Sure, though it's not necessarily easy. It may take some brainstorming and a couple of drafts but it can be done and has been done by thousands of businesses in hundreds of industries…including yours with dramatic results!Once you are clear of what business you are building (your vision) and you understand and are inspired by why your business exists (your mission) then and only then can you be clear on what objectives will carry out your mission and manifest your vision. Your key objectives, which must be measurable and graph-able, can only be executed through clearly defined completion oriented strategies.So far so good. I am starting to sense some light bulbs turning on out there. Now we must drop down from the 10,000 foot level on to the runway. If we don't know what actions are necessary to carry out the strategies then what good is the plan or the planning process? Good question.The action plan section of your business plan defines the work that must be done and specifically by when. These are the key links in order to carry out the key strategies to support the objective of what you are trying to accomplish by bending your sales curve.Remember you have four quarters in a year so don't load everything up in the first quarter and subject yourself to overwhelm. Spread it out over four quarters. Keep this in mind - time exists so everything doesn't have to happen all at once. Think! Plan! And get it on one or two pages.Go easy on yourself and don't settle for writing the perfect plan. The important thing is to get your plan in writing even if it's not perfect. Strive for the higher standard of Excellence! Your business plan is a working document and will never really be done. Things come up. Life happens. You will need to recalibrate your plan throughout the year…and that's okay. In fact, it’s imperative.So don't just DO something, sit there! Get perspective and reflect rather than just continuing to do the same thing and getting the same results. Once you have thought, capture it in writing. This will provide you the clarity and the courage to go forth and serve your clients in the most authentic way.