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Productivity / Business plans

Steps for putting your business plan into action

I don’t know a single small business owner who doesn’t plan. On the other hand, implementation isn’t always a strong point.

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Even if they’ve written nothing down, in most cases business owners have swirled their ideas around in their minds so frequently that much of the detail seems clear and self explanatory – at least to them.

All too often that’s as far as plans get. Nothing is ever implemented, and these plans are doomed to never see the light of day.

There are dozens of excuses for not implementing your business plans: too little time, too many demands from existing clients, bills to pay, can’t get the right staff, don’t have the resources. Or maybe you’re not confident stepping out of your comfort zone, lack the skills required, don’t know where to turn for help, or are afraid of failure.

Whatever the reason, if you continue to do what you’ve always done, you’ll end up with the same predictable outcomes.

Failure to include specific actions and timelines that you can measure against might be part of the problem. But failure to implement is the bigger issue.

"If you continue to do what you’ve always done, you’ll end up with the same predictable outcomes."

Have you ever been guilty of this? I know I have. What plans do you have right now that need to be implemented? What are you doing to turn them into reality?

Want more articles like this? Check out the business plans section.

Try the following step-by-step approach; it’s certainly proving effective for me.

•  Write your business plan down: You don’t need a prescribed template; just write down what you’re planning to do.

•  Make it SMART: Specific, measurable, achievable, resourced and with a timeframe.

•  Share it: Go over your plan with someone – your employees, colleagues, partner, business coach, anyone. Tell them what you’re going to do and commit to it.

•  Start with the first step: Remember the rule for eating elephants? One bite at a time. The same goes for your plan.

•  Measure your progress: Adjust implementation if need be, even adjust the plan if required, but keep track of your performance against your planned targets and timelines.

•  Measure the outcomes: Has your plan delivered the benefits you hoped for? If not, why not? What can you do differently?

•  Keep on keeping on: Keep measuring, keep reviewing, but most of all keep implementing.

Are you a planner or a doer? If you’ve got any extra tips on bringing business plans to life, we’d love to hear them.

Rhys Roberts

is a commercial accountant who provides the range of services a CFO typically provides to a larger business. He will help you implement financial systems, run your accounts department and provide the information you need to improve the performance of your business.

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