A Business Plan Doesn’t Have to Be Overwhelming

Financial business planDo you know the difference between a "Start Up" Business Plan and an Annual Business Plan?  I find that most small business owners don't.

Start Up Plan vs. Annual Business Plan

A "Start Up" business plan can be a daunting endeavor. The document is typically 10 to 20 pages in length and usually required to get a loan or persuade an investor. Because this plan is so thorough, it typically takes several weeks to research and several days to write.  It is good to go back and visit this plan periodically, but it typically does not need to be re-written for 5 years or more. An annual business plan is different. It is typically a 2- to 3-page document that governs the priorities of the business owner and serves as a powerful tool for growing your business year after year. It should be reviewed weekly to monitor progress and to make mid-course corrections as needed. With the efficient process applied by the Growth Coach, the annual business plan can be created in only 3 to 5 hours! Here are a few questions to get you started on an annual business plan:
  • What's working great in your business right now?
  • What's broken in your business right now?
  • What opportunities do you see on the horizon (e.g. to deliver more value to your existing customers, to gain a competitive advantage in your market, to attract new customers, to tap new resources, etc.)?
  • What potential threats could you be facing in the coming year?

Looking Into the Future

Once you have reflected on these questions, think through your vision. What do you want your business to look like in 1 year?  In 3 years?  What do you want your financial performance to be in 1 year?  In 3 years? Finally, think through what needs to happen in all the critical systems and processes in your business. Pick 5 to 10 major goals that are most essential to achieving your vision in your current situation. This becomes your annual business plan. If you do not have confidence in your plan – or if you don't have one at all – consider engaging a business coach. We would be happy to help you create a plan that will grow your business and grow you as a leader. If you need a business coach we are here to serve you in Sugar Land, Katy, and the Greater Houston area. Feel free to contact us for a No Obligation Strategy Session today.


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