All too often, entrepreneurs get stuck in the weeds of running their business and don't take the time to step back and plan what they want their business and life to look like. They just take their business and life as it comes.
We work with enough entrepreneurs to be able to safely say we are all guilty of that at times. The benefit of taking a step back is that you can come up with a plan… or plans. With a plan comes a greater chance of success and shaping your business and life to be the way you want it to be.
How Do You Come Up With A Plan?
- Time. You have to make time to remove yourself, if only temporarily, from your daily activities, and give yourself thinking time and an opportunity to create your plan. To generate a worthwhile plan will take time.
- Write your plan down. You need to jot down your thoughts about where you have been and where you want to be. Think about your business in terms of success points in 30-60-90 days as a starting point. Then extend out to six and 12 months. While there is some value in high-level plans that go beyond 12 months, realize that the further out a plan is, the less accurate it will be, and the more you will have to revise it as the near-term changes.
- Establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). KPIs are typically three to five items that are simple to track on a regular basis. Identify and establish KPIs that will help you track your progress towards your goals.
- Share your plan. Share it with some accountability partners. This can be a spouse, a business coach, your CPA or someone else you really trust. Ask them to check in on how you are doing. Knowing you have someone looking over your shoulder really helps keep you on track.
- Execute your plan. Operate and proceed as you planned to do. Monitor yourself against targets and KPIs. If your plan doesn't play out short-term, don't give up. Continue to fight and make strides towards your plan.
- Revise your plan. Your plan is going to need revising because it's a living document. As time passes, look at how your plan has changed and update it.
- Rinse and repeat. Continue to cycle through steps 4-7 over time.
What Is A Good Way To Get Started On A Plan?
Think about your business in the context of these four questions:
- What are your goals? This question will really drive your plan.
- What's working? Evaluate what is working in your business and why, and what you can learn from it.
- What's not working? You need to determine where your business is broken. Identifying these items are the first steps in fixing it.
- What are your bottle necks? Determining where your bottle necks are will help you identify things you need to fix to execute your plan and achieve results.
The purpose of this article was to highlight the value of creating, implementing, and tracking against a plan. Still not sure where to start or need help? If so, feel free to reach out to us.
Adam Shay, CPA (N.C. License Number 35961), MBA, is managing partner of Adam Shay CPA, PLLC. He focuses on minimizing taxes and improving the financial results of entrepreneurs, and is actively involved in supporting the Wilmington entrepreneurial and startup community. For more information, visit http://www.wilmingtontaxesandaccounting.com/ or email him at [email protected]. He can also be reached by phone at (910) 256-3456.