The 3 Components of an Annual Business Plan

Transcript of today's video blog, "The 3 Components of an Annual Business Plan"

In today's video blog, I want to talk about the subject of Annual Business Growth Planning.  Often times, business owners feel intimidated by the idea of planning because they think of a start-up plan. And a start-up plan for a new business is a very complex tool. It involves a lot of market research, market analysis, and it can be a 10, 20, or 30 page document. An annual business growth plan for an existing business does not have to be that complicated. In fact, I recommend to my clients that you have just 3 pages. What's involved in this Annual Business Growth Plan are these 3 components. 1. First, create a Financial Plan. Another way to say it is simply, a budget. This should be something that you set before the beginning of the year. Project your income. Think about what your income was last year, and based on current economic conditions, what you think you will have this year. Maybe think about marketing strategies and other growth initiatives that you'll implement, and project what you really anticipate your income to be. Don't be crazy about it, but be realistic. Then think about your expenses. What were your expenses last year? Track those and think about what your expenses coming up this year might be, and create a budget. That's the first part of your annual business plan. 2. The second part is your Marketing Plan. Or specifically, I'm talking about a marketing calendar. I encourage my clients to set a calendar up so you know exactly what you're going to do in January, February, and so on. Make your marketing consistent. Often times, business owners find their business to go up and down. When they're down, they get busy marketing. Of course when they get busy marketing, business picks up, and they get very busy fulfilling their promises to their customers. But they will often stop marketing. After a while of that, business drops off again and they get into this up and down cycle. It doesn't have to be that way. If you will create a marketing calendar at the beginning of the year so you have consistent marketing activity throughout the year, you will discover a consistent growth pattern in your business. 3. The third page is what I call the Operational Improvement Plan. This is where you set goals for the improvement of your business. Create these in areas like:
  • Leadership
  • Management and Systems Development
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer Fulfillment and Service
  • Administrative and HR
This is where those types of things go in your business growth plan. Develop an Annual Business Plan. Have 3 pages and cover these 3 areas, your budget, your marketing calendar, and your operational improvement goals, and it will make all the difference in your business. Sometimes, business owners get frustrated because their business is not growing. The number one reason the business doesn't grow is because the owner doesn't have a plan. So take the time right now and start working on your Annual Business Growth Plan for this coming year. Thanks for watching.

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