Most people spend more time writing out a grocery list or planning a vacation than they do planning the direction of their businesses, says Kelley Robertson, president of the Robertson Training Group. Many business owners will determine a vague or general idea of what they want to accomplish, but very few actually identify the specific action steps they need to take to achieve their goals.
How should you plan your business? It all depends on what you want
to accomplish and what is important to you. To begin, there are
five key areas to plan.
1. Revenue: Break down your sales into specific
categories. This allows you to track your progress in each area
and see where you can improve year over year. Plus, you can determine
the products or services you should stop selling.
2. Profit: Determining your gross sales is important,
but more important is the amount of money you have left over at
the end of the day. Try deciding what profit you want to earn each
year. Then create your plan backwards to determine how to achieve
3. Expenses: All large organizations budget expenses
but most independent business owners “wing it” and pay
the bills as they come in. If you want to increase your revenues,
you need to know how much it will cost you to generate your targeted
4. Personal Time: It is very easy to get sucked
into the vortex of running a business and forget to take a vacation
or personal time to recharge. Block those days on your calendar
early in the year. This signifies a commitment and allows you to
plan your business around these personal days.
5. Personal Development: People who invest in themselves
consistently outperform those who don’t. Identify the skills
that will help you become more successful. Determine what books,
programs, courses or people can help you learn these skills and