Friday, February 10, 2012
Breaking Business Plans Down to Smaller Steps
Most of us know what a business plan is. We know that it includes product information, marketing strategies, financing, facilities and a customer profile. Yet how many of us know that the comprehensive report is just a piece of paper without the commitment of the owner? That’s right it is “garbage” without strong psychological traits that help to adhere to the plan. A business plan changes depending on the personality strengths of the owner. Within the business plan it is beneficial to map out the financial budget for a certain length of time. In most businesses this plan includes all major expenses for the year. Adhering to a year plan may be difficult because they are not able to do that in their personal lives. For example, if one has a hard time saving 10% of their income how are they going to adhere to a budget that requires them to put money away for future development in their small business. The plan may include a year improvement plan but should be broken down into monthly or weekly goals so that the owner can follow it closely. Let’s say an owner wants to build additional fresh fruit space and it is going to cost him/her about 8,000 dollars. The owner hasn’t been able to put this money away for the past couple of years due to inability to stay committed. Then have them take $200 out of their earnings each week by writing a check and placing it in a box. At the end of the year they can count up the checks, rip them up and write one big one for their expansion project. The same applies to marketing. If an owner wants to market to everyone in his neighborhood who has children it doesn’t make sense to just state this fact and then not break it down into steps. For a small owner it may appear as though the task is too big him/her to handle. Break it down so that this month they will purchase the demographics list of homeowners with children, then the next week develop the sales letter, the third week turn it into the printer, so on and so forth. By breaking down larger business plans into small steps small managers are more able to keep focus on building and developing their long-term goals. Both the yearly and the monthly/weekly goals complement each other. The overall business plan acts as the ultimate improvement while the monthly/weekly goals acts like the road map. It is important to remember that the ultimate achievement of goals depends on the actually personality and traits of the owner. Writing out strategies that don’t follow the normal way they work and look at life is likely to be unfulfilled.