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08 9242 2085 ots@otsmanagement.com.au
Advice from Outside the Square

Time to Write Your Business Plan – And Here’s How!

Time to Write Your Business Plan – And Here’s How!

Did you know that 8 out of 10 small businesses close down within the first 5 years of opening?

But do you know what’s worse? Of those that survive, less than 25% rate their businesses as “successful”. More than 70% of small businesses who have existed for more than 5 years say that they are “struggling” or “surviving”. How would you like to spend the rest of your business life struggling or surviving?

Here’s another statistic for you – of the 25% or so who say their business is “successful”, 80% have and consistently use a business plan. Of the 70% who are struggling or surviving – none of them have consistently prepared and followed a business plan.

So what these statistics are saying is that you need to prepare and consistently follow a business plan to build and maintain your business success. And what I’ve found through 30 years of advising small businesses all over the world is that it is never too late. I have helped small business owners who have “survived” for many years, discover what a business plan can do for them and their business, and soon build successful businesses from those that “struggled” or “survived”. They were able to find that work-life balance from the base of a profitable business with a clear strategic direction and clear milestones to achieve.

With an actionable business plan, they were able to find the time to enjoy life, avoid overwhelm, day-to-day frustration and the “what do I do next” syndrome.

As a small business owner you probably already know that you need your own business plan that integrates all your own ideas about how to grow your business. You’ve probably already heard about those statistics I quoted above. You can probably guess that a comprehensive and actionable business plan can guide you each step of the way toward attainment of your goals and possibly be the tipping point between “surviving business and “successful” business.

But here’s what you might not know – even if you’re lucky enough to be running your small business without the frustration of working hard every day and feeling like you’re not getting anywhere fast – having your own comprehensive and actionable business plan will let you: –

Define exactly where you want to go – A well-written actionable business plan will start by describing very clearly, exactly what your business will look like when you have attained your vision of “success”. It will set up measures and yardsticks along the way so that you know exactly what you need to do. It will cut through the confusion of “what do I do next?”

Get organised by setting clear long-term, medium-term and short-term priorities – Your detailed business plan will establish what you need to do to get from where you are now to the vision of your future success. You will have long, medium and short-term goals and objectives that are specifically aligned to where you want to be. This means that in any given day, you will know what is important and what is a distraction – giving you order instead of chaos.

Have a clear strategic direction and effective strategies to implement – Properly structured, your business plan will establish a single cohesive direction to take your business on the way to your vision. This then allows you to set mid-term and short-term priorities that are aligned to that single direction. You will then cascade your aligned priorities into medium and short-term strategies allowing you to take a step-by-step approach to grow your business, your way.

Write step-by-step Action Plans to implement on a day-to-day basis – This is where the rubber of your business plan hits the road – in order to action your strategies, you will have detailed action plans that you can follow on a daily basis, where milestones are established and where you can literally tick off your successes. You’ll no longer have to make decisions on the fly because you will know exactly what you have to do.

However, even though the need to write your business plan is a no-brainer, the process to actually write an actionable and comprehensive business plan is anything but! So how do you do that?

Perhaps you’ve even tried before.

You may have bought a book with worksheets, or you invested in software or templates. You may even have got super-committed and hired someone to write it for you.

But those “easy” templates and worksheets turned out too hard to follow. You filled them in but you weren’t sure if you completed them correctly, and anyway, what do you do with them once you completed them?

Here’s why most off-the-shelf business planning templates don’t work for small businesses:

Without a very clear and logical process to follow in a guided step-by-step procedure, most busy small business owners get totally lost;

They become confused – their strategies don’t connect as a single set of cohesive actions, they try to pack too much, too unrealistically, into too short an action timeframe;

If they used a consultant, they find that the consultant just repeats formulas and they end up with a plan that’s not sympathetic with the reality of their business.

Here’s why this is irreversibly crippling:

As a small business owner with customers to serve, finances to look after, and people to supervise, you literally cannot afford to waste time walking into dead ends;

Everything you do must be productive – and the frustration and anxiety of doing something or paying for something that gives you no benefit or advantage will crush you;

An unrealistic business plan, written by someone who doesn’t know your business, can set you back years.

Therefore writing your effective business plan that is immediately capable of being implemented is something you need to get right! Luckily for you, 80% of small businesses – your competitors – will fail because they don’t have an effective business plan to guide them.

But you can.

There are three reasons why most business plans are ineffective.

Reason #01 Not starting with the end in mind

Badly advised small business owners start by looking at what they need to do instead of where they want to go. This is like planning for a holiday by asking what you need to pack instead of where you want to go on your holiday.

What are your indicators or measures of being successful? How do you measure up currently? What areas are weak and where do you need to grow? These are just some of the questions you need to answer before you work on your action plans.

An effective business planning process starts with describing exactly what your business will be like when you have attained your vision of success. Then, and only then can you can align all your goals and strategies toward achieving that ultimate vision, instead of merely compiling some list of disjointed to-do items that are just going to increase your feeling of being overwhelmed. You have to follow a process of defining where you want to go, understanding exactly where you are now, and then creatively writing strategies to bridge the gaps.

Reason #02 Not getting the guidance during a step-by-step process

If you try to fill in a book of templates, you can only fill in the blanks in the order in which they are printed. No matter how much instruction is provided in accompanying books, while you are actually in the act of filling in the blanks, you need guidance on what it all means and where it will lead to. This is not going to help you work through a logical set of decisions about what actions will have the most effective returns for the long term. As you work through the process and make decisions or find solutions, you need guidance in real time about what each worksheet means and what it will lead to.

You need a business planning process at an affordable cost that combines the right step-by-step process with effective worksheets and real-time guidance as you fill in the worksheets.

Reason #03 Not ending with a focus on implementation

Most off-the-shelf business planning processes finish once you have detailed your strategies….and then leave you to figure out how to implement them.

How do you keep yourself on track? What happens if your strategies aren’t working? You have to consider how busy you are and make sure that systems are set up to help you follow through.

A good business planning process ends with looking at accountability systems and schedules monitoring and evaluation reviews. This is not just another to-do list, this must be an ordered series of actions that are designed to give you the outcome you deserve. Your business planning process must end with designing your accountability and implementation systems.

Here’s a secret – even though it is so easy to write a business plan badly and so ineffectively that you’re really only wasting your time:

80% of your competitors are also struggling without a clear strategic direction and no plan

The main reason is that they haven’t realised what a good business plan can do for them or if they do, they don’t know how to write an effective and actionable business plan

And while you do have to know what to do, there is an easy and step by step process that you can follow, presented in a way that guides you in real time, and at an affordable cost.

The key to writing your own effective and implementable business plan in is to follow a proven process in a workshop format, guiding you step by step in real time. And, the right process can help you do that in just one day!

I’d like to introduce to you YOUR ONE DAY BUSINESS PLAN

This is the most comprehensive business planning program available for small businesses.

I have synthesised over 30 years’ of learning and practical experience working with small businesses into a comprehensive, step-by-step process to prepare your own business plan, in just one day. “Your One Day Business Plan” isn’t just an online training program on how to write your own business plan, it is presented as a real-time online workshop so that I guide you through the completion of exercises and worksheets during timed workshop sessions.

It is designed especially for busy small business owners to give them a business plan and implementation program so that they can work toward the attainment of their vision of their successful business.

I take decades of experience in facilitating workshops and my observations of what works, to design this program that will provide you with a clear long-term strategic direction as well as your short-term detailed Action Plans to implement over the next 12 months.

Your One Day Business Plan is the only online program of its kind that:

Offers training on how to prepare your business plan alongside guided workshop exercises designed in real time;

  • Each module includes a video lesson, reading material, worksheets, and an audio download of a timed workshop session to guide you through the completion of the worksheets, in real time.

Designed and timed to be completed in one day;

  • Each module, including the video lessons, the reading, and the audio workshops, have been timed so that you can complete the program in one day

  • Of course, you can also break it up into 2 half days, or even over more days – it is timed, but when you do each module is entirely up to you

Focuses on detailed step-by-step implementation.

  • The completion of the program includes a module on preparing your detailed Action Plans, as well as a module on how to keep on track and implement.

Here’s what you get when you join the program.

Introduction

The Introduction sets you up ready to start the day. You will learn about what business plans do, as well as the SMART Business Planning process that you will be following during the rest of the day.

Module 1: Your Vision

This is the first of three modules of the first phase of business planning: Where Do You Want To Go? This is the foundational module where you establish your strategic direction.

In this module, you will first identify your business purpose before you describe your vision of your successful business. At the conclusion of this module, you will have a clear vision statement that will show you what your strategic direction must be.

Module 2: What Your Vision Means

Having described your vision for your business in a statement, this module breaks it down into what it means on a day to day basis.

This module critically lifts your vision statement from being a fluffy woo-woo piece into a real description of intent. You will dive into what the customers think of your business, how your employees work and what they think, what your finances will look like, and which key business processes you must excel at.

At the end of this module, you will know what your indicators of success really are.

Module 3: Goals and Objectives

Now that you have a specific, clear description of what you will need to be like in order to be successful, this module takes those success indicators and develops a series of goals and objectives for your business. These will be allocated into long-term, medium-term and short-term goals and objectives.

This module gives you your targets for the next 12 months.

Module 4: SWOT

Having established where you want to go, it is now time to examine Where Are You Now?

In this first of three modules of this phase, you will look at your current Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) of your business. This will help you to understand your starting point – what’s not good enough yet, as well as what could be used as the bases for growth.

Module 5: SWOT of Customers, Marketing and Products

Continuing your analysis of your current situation, this module looks deeper into three important areas of your business – your customers, your marketing, and your products or services.

You will conduct a SWOT analysis of these three areas to see what you need to do to build on strengths, improve weaknesses, take advantage of opportunities, and mitigate against threats.

Module 6: SWOT of Operations and Production

To complete your analysis of your current situation this module will take you into a SWOT analysis of how you stand in regard to your back-room operations and the production of your products or services. This is the third and important analysis of where you are now – how you provide your customers with what they want, and how your back-room processes are carried out.

At the end of this module, you will have a clear and detailed understanding of where you need to improve in these areas in order to get to where you want to go.

Module 7: Strategies

This is the first of 3 modules aimed at Bridging The Gap. Now that you know where you want to go, and where you are now, you will start to look at the critical gaps between those two situations. In this module, you will review your Goals and Objectives. Then, looking at your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, you will shortlist the key areas you need to work on, and then prioritise them into strategies.

At the end of this module, you will have a clear list of important strategies to work on in the coming year ahead.

Module 8: Action Plans

Now that you have listed your strategies, it is time to create detailed step-by-step action plans to implement those strategies.

In this module, you will take each strategy in turn and create a detailed action plan – setting out each step, identifying who will be responsible for each action, defining what the successful completion of that action will provide in outcomes, and deciding on the date when each action will be completed.

When you finish this module you will have the blueprint for action for the next 12 months.

Module 9: Budgets

Having identified your strategies and formulated action plans, you need to measure their effect on your income and expenses.

In this module, you are not expected to prepare your budget during the workshop session. In fact, this module is designed for non-financially trained business owners, expecting that you will likely ask for assistance from your accountant. However what this module gives you is training in how to prepare a budget, including the steps to take, so that you can work alongside your accountant at a later date.

Module 10: Putting It All Together

It’s time to put all your thinking and processing into a readable, actionable, planning document. In modules 1 to 9, you have worked logically through where you want to go, where you are starting from, and therefore what you have to do to bridge the gap.

This module will show you how to collate the key pieces of your plan into an ordered document so that you can use it to implement your plan on a day to day basis.

Module 11: Implementing Your Plan

This is where the rubber hits the road!

Now that you have written your own effective business plan, you need to make sure that it can be, and will be implemented.

In this module, you will learn how to make your vision come alive by using it every day, set up motivational accountability systems, monitor your actions and evaluate their effectiveness, and measure how successful you are.

You will schedule dates to review your progress and make any changes as required.

I am so confident that you are going to love The One Day Business Plan Program that I am giving you 30 days, risk-free! That’s right, you can use my training and workshop program for 30 days from purchase and if you do the work but it doesn’t give you an effective, actionable business plan, simply email me with your completed worksheets to show that you have done the work (sorry, no tyre-kickers please), and I will send you a refund.

And that’s not all – Your One Day Business Plan comes with these bonuses: –

Bonus #1 “Beyond The One Day Business Plan”

This eBook takes you through how to use your business plan on a day-to-day basis.

It dives in deeper into how to use your vision statement on a daily basis to ensure that you are constantly moving closer to your goals. It also explains how to use your business plan as a weekly (if not daily) reminder of the priority actions you need to take. This allows you to identify distractions and make decisions about what to do and not to do in order to stay organised and moving forward.

The eBook also shows you how your 12-month business plan fits into long-term strategic thinking so that you can look from 3 to 10 years ahead.

Bonus #2: “What To Add For An Investment Or Loan Business Plan”

This bonus eBook shows you how to take your internally focused planning document up one level to a business plan that you can give your bank or other financier, or to an interested investor as a document to support a loan application or an investment proposal.

The eBook explains what you need to include for these external third-parties, and where to include the extra information in the contents of your document.

It goes through each of the additional chapters and details what you need to include in each.

Bonus #3: Budget Spreadsheet Template

As a bonus in Your One Day Business Plan, I have prepared an Excel template that you can use to prepare your budget, according to the learning in Module 9.

If you are an Apple user, you can also open this template in Apple’s Numbers app.

This template is designed so that you can identify your income and expenses over 12 months, month by month. As you enter the individual income and expense budgets the totals will automatically change to show you the overall effect through the year.

Bonus #4: One Day Business Plan Worksheets Template

While each module includes downloads of PDF worksheets for you to write on as you follow the audio recording of the timed workshop sessions, I recognise that some of you may want to eventually type them up for posterity!

To help you, I have provided a Microsoft Word template of all the worksheets.

This template can also be opened in Apple’s Pages app.

Here’s What You Are Getting When You Join Today

  • Your One Day Business Plan Workshop And Training Program worth $7,500 but priced online at $197
  • Bonus #1 Beyond The One Day Business Plan eBook valued at $20
  • Bonus #2 What To Add For An Investment Or Loan Business Plan eBook valued at $20
  • Bonus #3 Budget Template valued at $250
  • Bonus #4 One Day Business Plan Worksheet Templates valued at $250
  • TOTAL VALUE $8,040

When you add it all up that’s a value of $8,400

BUT WHEN YOU JOIN US NOW YOU’LL GET ACCESS TO EVERYTHING FOR JUST $197

How can I give you $8,400 value for just $197?

Because I’m leveraging my time through the internet. Since I’m recording my face to face workshop facilitation skills and experience and offering them through an online program, I can use economies of scale to lower the price!

Time to do it now, and get Your One Day Business Plan Program! Click here NOW!

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