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Business Planning For Road Mapping to Success

Aug 23, 2008
Is your business running according to your plan? What, no plan? Or perhaps you have a plan but haven't looked at it in a while. When is the last time you went on a road trip without a map? You need the same tool in your business.

A business plan, if used properly, can be one of the most effective tools that you will utilize in your business. It is the road map for your present and future business growth. Your business plan is your business road map. It helps you to remember why you started in business, your vision for the future of the company, and the steps you plan to initiate to reach the growth expectations.

How can a plan help? Here are five ways a business plan can benefit you:

1. It will help you to put in writing your objectives and determine how to implement them.

2. It is a tool to share with your employees, business ventures, accountant, and others, informing them of your mission, vision, and strategies.

3. To build upon your strengths in your business and to identify the weaknesses.

4. To determine your cash flow needs and projections for future growth.

5. To determine short term goals and long term goals. Short-term being immediate and long-term being 3, 5, or 10 years in the future.

Many people consider starting a business and jump in. No plan, just talk and a dream. After the launch of the business they get overwhelmed and cannot remember why they started a business or the original idea. Somewhere along the way they lost their vision.

When you have a plan in writing it helps to keep you focused, track progress, and modify when needed. The results of your business tracking will help you to be aware of what is working and when change is needed. You learn from your experiences and modify when sharp curves are in the distance.

"All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination." Earl Nightingale

If you have not initiated your plan, start by identifying what initial steps are needed to get through phase 1. Break down into pieces. When broken into pieces or segments, the task or goal at hand does not seem as overwhelming. Put your dreams, plans, and vision for your future on paper.

* Overall dream

* Steps needed to initiate phase one

* Phase two and more

* Anticipated outcome for the future.

Once written, re-evaluate it monthly. Modify when needed and keep it updated.

One of the biggest roadblocks to completing your plan is inaction. Most people tend to procrastinate when they believe the task at hand is unpleasant or overwhelming. You will find that it is less daunting than what you believe once you get started.

Stop procrastinating and start today. Your plan will be accomplished in a short time and will be available as a resource to keep you on track and give guidance. It is always better to know where you are headed then to wonder where you have been.
About the Author
Carole DeJarnatt is the owner and facilitator of Alliance Success Groups, a division of Alliance Advisors, Inc. She works with business leaders, managing directors, and entrepreneurs, who are committed to achieving success in reaching their goals and enhancing their future. Visit Alliance Advisors, Inc. to start mapping your success today!
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