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Four Business Planning Musts

by Joeann Fossland, PMN

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Every year about this time, I start working with clients on their business plans for the coming year. Right now is the perfect time to take a quick look at this to prepare and empower you for success in 2016. Here are four "musts" to get you started and make it easy. I'll bet "easy" isn't the word that comes to your mind when you think of business planning, is it?

Must #1

Know yourself and how detailed you want this to be.

You may love structure and drilling down from the yearly to the monthly to the weekly and then to the daily. Some trainers will tell you this is the only way to succeed. If this works for you, do it!

You might, however, think you should do that but somehow it always presents resistance and a struggle. The good news is it is not the only way.

I have seen many professionals have huge successes when they simply identify the big picture specifics. Then keep those specifics in existence, alive and active as each day starts with the question, "What three actions today will bring me closer to my goals?"

Decide this: Do you want a detailed plan breaking down all the actions to take? Or do you want a "big picture" plan?

Must #2

Set aside time to achieve your goals.

Schedule a three or four-hour block of time for your initial 2016 planning. During this time, look over your results for this year so far.

  • What was your gross?
  • How many units did you close? 
  • Where did your business come from?
  • What has worked this year?
  • What was a waste of time or money?

Then, after you know clearly what you created in 2015, begin to create 2016.

If you are going the detailed route, there are resources available to walk you through the numbers and measures. Here is a worksheet you can use. Or enroll in Women's Council's wonderful Business of your Business Course!

If you are doing "big picture" plan, write down what you want to create in 2016. Some of the components of this could be gross sales, number of transactions, amount of time off or whatever you would identify in looking back at the year that are your measures of success.

Do this right now: Take out your calendar and schedule this working on (as opposed to working in) your business time. Schedule a big block of time soon. Then make it a recurring appointment for at least an hour once a month. 

Must #3

Keep it alive!

There are two important ways to use your business plan to guide your actions through the year.

First, one of the most common causes of failure is not using the business plan throughout the year to make course corrections as needed.

Those monthly one-hour appointments are designed to compare where you are with where you should be – looking at what is working, what isn't and what is happening with the market and new technology. Monthly course corrections will put you back on track or show you where you want to focus more attention.

Second, use it to create visual reminders. For the detailed route, this may be a spreadsheet or whiteboard to track results against the goals. For the big picture route, use a vision board that reminds you each day of the results and their benefits to stimulate you to stay focused.

Your subconscious is a powerful force. What you focus on expands. So the visuals focus on the end result instead of what's lacking, which will work to help you take actions to bring you closer to what you want.

Choose: What will be your method of keeping it alive?

Must #4 

Have support.

We break promises to ourselves more often and easily than we do with others. Without accountability or cheerleaders or coaches, it is easy to put off or not take action at all on what we know would make a difference for our businesses.

This is something that can make a difference in every area of our lives. This article on weight loss identifies peer support as the number one habit you need for success.

You will be much more successful with your business plan if you involve others. Your choice here can be another Women’s Council member, your office manager or broker. Or you may want to take the leap to hire a coach.

You need regular planned meetings, even if they are short. You can talk five minutes every morning to set a goal for the day or have a longer weekly appointment. A structure for support will enhance your results.

Your support for 2016: Are you ready to hire a coach? Or is there another Women's Council member or other person your respect who you would like to partner with for the coming year. Decide this before the end of the month so you can get started.

Your business plan is one tool to make achieving what you want easier. Are you ready?

Joeann_thumbnailJoeann Fossland, GRI, PMN, has more than 30 years of experience in real estate as an agent, marketing expert, international speaker, trainer and personal coach. Her gift is helping people be wildly productive while living lives they love. She was recognized by a Stefan Swanepeol poll as one of the "Top 25 Most Influential Women in Real Estate." You can subscribe to her free "Tuesday Tips" and find out about personal coaching by visiting her website. Her email is joeann@joeann.com. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

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