Monday, January 25th, 2021

How-to: Create a Profitable Business Plan! (Part 1)

By Ellen Rohr on Nov 08 2011 • Filed under How-To

How-to: Create a Profitable Business Plan (Photo)As I watch Extreme Makeover, a TV show where a team completely renovates a family's home to make it ‘like new,’ it warms my heart to see the outpouring of help and gratitude. I also wonder if the new home triggers a new life for the family. Or, if six months later, is the home a disaster again? People are resistant to change.

In my previous post, I asked, Does Your Biz Plan Suck?

If your business plan, like one of those rundown houses, isn’t quite working for you, then why not make a new start? Why not be fabulously successful doing what you love to the delight of your customers and the well being of your wonderful team? Why not help someone else do that, too? Why not commit to your business and your life? Why not be one who makes their dreams come true?

Why not do an Extreme Makeover on YOUR business?

1. If you have a plan already, find it.

Dust off the one you showed to the bank 100 years ago. Read through it. Consider if what you wanted then is what you still want now. Marvel at the realization that some of the things you wrote in your Biz Plan have come to fruition. That’s cool! And that’s why business planning works. When you think about what you want and commit it to writing, you help bring that thought into reality. Look around you. Everything you see was once a thought. Thought begets reality. Biz Planning is a powerful tool for manifesting what you want. Look for evidence as you review your existing plan. If that plan captures what you intend to create and inspires you to get it done…then you are good to go.

2. Get a calendar and use it.

One of my mentors taught me to, “Plan or be planned for.” Biz Planning needs some attention, some of your time. And most days are just whittled away by others’ needs and wants. How many of your days have been dissolved by an endless stream of, “Got a minute?” interruptions? A calendar helps you lay claim to your time. Your calendar can help you focus time on planning and to engage the actions you commit to in your Biz Plan. If you use a calendar, take a clear-eyed look at it. The “busiest” people I know have wide open calendars.

3. If you don’t have a Biz Plan, carve out some time to create one.

Commit some uninterrupted time to think about what you want and write your thoughts down. How much time? How about…an hour a day? An hour a week? Make a commitment of time and carve it into your calendar. (In The Bare Bones Biz Plan, I encourage you to kick off your Biz Plan by working on it an hour a day, five days a week for six weeks. Then, you can commit to one hour a week to review and update your Biz Plan.) In that time, you could create a quantum leap from where you are now to the next level of prosperity and lifestyle. Use the time to think and gain clarity. NOTE: You do have the time. You won the lottery of time…you have all there is! You may have to stop doing something else to spend time business planning. You could stop doing something you hate to do, or feel pressured to do by someone else. You can find the time.

4. Get a two-inch, three-ring binder.

You can get a nice leather one at Office Depot for about 30 bucks. Make sure it is in nice, clean condition. Your best work is going in it. This Binder is going to house your Biz Plan. Call it your Biz Plan Binder.

5. “Tab” your Biz Plan Binder.

Get the customizable, write-on kind of tabs with eight tabs in the set. Use six of the tabs to organize your Biz Plan Binder like this:

a. Setting Sight.
What does it look like when you're done? How much in Sales? How many employees? Number of customers served? What services will you offer? What will you do different and better from the competition? This tab of your Biz Plan Binder houses the pages that describe your ideal business, your target market, your goals and how this business serves you, your family, your team and your customers.

b. Building the Team.
Who does what? Why, how and when? Use this section of your Biz Plan Binder to store your Organizational Chart and Position Descriptions. Keep your recruiting activities organized here.

c. Making Money.
Keep a current copy of your financials in this section. Are your books a mess? Craft an action plan for getting to KFP – a Known Financial Position. Build a Budget and set Goals, in dollars and percentages for Sales and Expenses at your new and improved company. Get real about your selling price. Crunch the numbers…and commit to implementing higher prices. Which leads us to…

d. Getting it Sold.
If you are going to charge more (and, face it, cutting costs won’t make up for years of financial losses) you are going to have to be more…be faster, nicer, cleaner, more organized, professional, timely and loving. And, you will need to discover better ways to communicate the value of your service to customers and prospective customers. Craft an action plan for improving your sales skills. Store your marketing plan under this tab in your Biz Plan Binder.

e. Getting it Done.
As you develop your procedures, sure-fire systems for delivering on your promises, store copies of your procedures under this tab. Create a Top Projects list and assign projects to team members. Be sure to include the due dates.

f. Making Sure.
Are you on the right track? Are you delivering what people want? Is this working? Ride along with your field team. Sit side-by-side with your inside team. Ask your customers to give you feedback: what’s working, what needs to be made over? Organize your Making Sure activities in this tab of your Biz Plan Binder.

The remaining two tabs are for your Master To Do List and your Journal, which will be explained in my next post.

See also:

Does Your Business Plan Suck?

How-To: Prune your Business Plan for Success

How-To: Create Your Business Plan in a Weekend

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