Business Plans vs. Action Plans – which works best for your business?
by Wayne Porter
Hi. I’m Wayne Porter, and our mission is to help small business owners and creative entrepreneurs like you to really thrive instead of survive and help you monetize your vision for your business and your life.
Today I’m talking about how to create a plan of action for your business that is NOT based on the old ‘business plan’ model.
Mandy and I like to think of a business action plan as similar to a plan of attack – just as if you were going into battle.
The old-fashioned way to think of a business plan is this big thick thing with a lot of long-term ‘projections’ (guesses) in it about how much money the business could make and lots of reasons why someone should invest in the business and background and research information – blah, blah, blah – kind of useless to a one-man or one-woman show or even a couple of partners starting out – not something that can be rapidly turned into immediate cash flow which after all is the only way your business – and you – will be able to survive.
So the model for creating a simple business action plan – the rules or guidelines – is very simple. It’s all about creating and implementing a strategy – how you are going to get from where you are right now to where you would like to be. You hear a lot about strategy – but what is that? It’s simply a decision about how you’re going to go about taking your business to the next level of money momentum and expansion, and then the action plan that goes along with that.
We’ve found that when we make a long-term goal – something 5 years or 10 years down the road, things tend to get a bit boring and monotonous on a day to day basis. Getting out of bed and starting to work each day tends to become a bit of a chore – almost as if you were a slave to your business, in the same way that people sometimes feel they are a slave to their boss’s goals when they work a regular j-o-b.
Thinking about the ultimate goal for 5 or 10 years doesn’t sustain me personally on a day to day basis – it simply isn’t exciting enough, because if life is an adventure, then I want mine to be as fun as possible, and I pretty much want it to start happening right away . . .
Now we’re not saying that you shouldn’t make those long-term goals – absolutely you should! What we’re saying is that it has been successful for us to plan no more than 3 months in advance, and sometimes even less than that. Why? Because it keeps you on a time-table that has deadlines you can’t get out of, which motivates you to be more productive on a day to day basis and keeps you out of trouble – can you see that?
So this model can be applied to a very small business that is taking baby steps to success – there’s not much of an investment to get started – and you can use this simple business ACTION plan – basically a sequence of steps needed to bring about your desired result – any desired result – whether it be something as simple as planning an open house party, to something as major as launching a brand new business.
We recommend that every 3 months or so you make a new goal – a mini-game, if you will. Actually, doing 60-day or even 30-day mini-strategies is quite workable for individual business owners – solo-preneurs – whatever works for you.
So your way to do this is to simply work out what action steps need to be done in order to achieve your short-term strategy. What is your strategy?
Let’s say you want to build your regular client base from 20 visits a week to 60 visits a week if you’re a chiropractor or massage therapist or a spa, for example. And the target date for accomplishing this goal is 3 months from today. And your strategy is to sponsor a day-long wellness fair at your location and get some local vendors to participate and invite their clients and friends, and you’re the main sponsor and you’re providing the space and the free adjustments and some refreshments, and then you and the participating vendors promote the event like mad in a number of different ways – flyers, ads, social media, etc. It becomes a joint effort spearheaded by you, and it gets you name recognition and new clients, see?
So your Business Action Plan in this case would be the list of action steps needed to make this happen. Phone calls, printing, meetings, marketing actions, etc. And that is your 60 day strategy – not forgetting that you still have to do your standard weekly actions of calling and meeting with prospects, delivering to your existing clients, paying bills – that kind of thing.
So to sum up, the best way to get your MOney MOmentum blasting in an upward direction is to create these short-term Business Action Plans (consisting of a simple sequence of action items) to achieve your next goal, which will move you closer to where you want to be – your ideal income and lifestyle. Simple.
I’m Wayne Porter, and Mandy and I are here to help you grow your business and monetize YOUR vision.
Please click here to contact us if you’d like more information about how you can work with us to grow your business.