Friday, October 8, 2010

Write Your 2011 Business Plan

Get a jump on your 2011 business planning because the year-end is coming up pretty quickly. I'll admit, I used to write my Business Plan on New Year's Day until I had an epiphany: get a head start and do your plan before the end of the year! How did this benefit me? Well, it took away any indecision I had about where I was going.  It helped me block time on my calendar to strategize about what was working and what needed to change.  I was also able to analyze the numbers and set new realistic goals that could carry me on a wave of growth.

Completing your Business Plan now can also help you relax during the holiday season, a typically frenetic time of year with much to do and think about.  For me, I like to take two weeks off right at the end of the year and I don't want to think about business.  Imagine the sense of calm you'll have by being ahead of the curve if you write your Business Plan now…

So where should you be focusing when writing your Business Plan? Here are a few important questions:

*What should you stop doing? Have you measured your marketing this year? What's not working for you? I'll bet cold calling isn't doing so well. I'll bet your seminar marketing strategies should be updated so you stand out from the crowd doing the standard dine and dash drive bys.

*What should you continue doing? Get out your Marketing Return on Investment spreadsheet and gauge where you should continue efforts. Obviously networking with the right bunch always works and asking for referrals if done correctly can be very effective, IF you ask. Make your list of what you need to continue doing.

*What should you start doing? If you have failed to hold Client Appreciation Events in the past year, then you're missing out on a wonderful opportunity to network with your best clients and get to know them better.   

One last important point today: Take a look at your Vision – is it still serving you or have you outgrown it? If so, it's time to update what you really want out of your life five to ten years from now. And believe me; five years can go by in a jiffy!

Of course you know that I'm the Queen of Business Plans. I produced a business planning system years ago when one of my clients became so bogged down in the details that he refused to complete his plan. So I took the key components of a simple business plan and created the Two Page Mini Business Plan. Take a look and see if this system is right for you. I have included four sample financial advisor business plans based on different business models. You're sure to find one that fits you that will help you write  your own custom plan.

Here's to your business success!

Suzanne Muusers

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