Last week, I discussed having a vision. Having a vision is important. You need to know where you are going.
Now that you have you have a vision, do you have a plan to get you to where you want or need to be?
Sometimes you can be fancy and call your road map a strategic action plan or a business plan or a whole bunch of other things. I like to keep things simple.
Action plan: check
So what goes into this Action Plan?
Well, I like to start with a review of the internal and external environment. You can do a SWOT analysis (SWOT = Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats). Or you could look at Porter’s Five Forces model. Or PEST. These are models, which are tools. They exist to help you gather relevant information in order to make decisions. I had a professor who said “All models are wrong.” To a point, he was right, but you need to start with something. Even something flawed (which is what he really meant by “wrong”) is better than nothing.
So you have reviewed the environment. What is next?
You need to define your objectives.
What are your revenue objectives and how will you support them? For example:
- Number of renewing clients
- Number of new clients
- Launch a new product or service
What are your profit objectives and how will you support them?
Do you have customer service objectives?
You need to make your objectives SMART.
S = specific
M = measureable
A = achievable
R = relevant
T = timebound
Here is an example of a SMART objective:
I will earn $5,000 by acquiring 5 new clients by the end of May 2015.
And then you need to plot out your plan to acquire those 5 new clients.
Are you going to go to networking events? How many? When?
Do you have speaking engagements booked? How many? When?
How is your online marketing going to support this?
Are you going to advertise? Where? How often?
Do you have a joint venture?
Whatever it is you do to get new customers or clients is what you would include in your plan to meet that objective. Then you implement the plan.