Janice Durant, Head of Franchise Operations & Implementation, Sandler
Did you know December is #WriteABusinessPlanMonth?
If you read that sentence and instantly felt your stomach churn and thought to yourself, "But I'm no good at writing business plans!" or if you simply didn't want to deal with the hassle of creating or updating your business plan … read on. Here are three proven, painless strategies for starting and completing the right plan for the coming year – a plan that will help you make the best possible decisions over the next twelve months and keep your business humming.
- Kick-start the process. If you've been putting off getting started on your business plan, or if you've found yourself stuck when it comes to bringing it up to date, you may be able to shake off your writer's block quickly by reviewing the results of your annual performance reviews of team members. If you still need to complete those reviews, consider doing them right now! Performance reviews will give you some important reminders about what your people have been working on, day in and day out. You'll quickly reacquaint yourself with each employee's strong suits – as well as the areas where they are looking to improve and are determined to prove themselves. Just as important, you'll come face to face with critical questions about the year you are about to close out. What new initiatives emerged? Which ones got shelved? Why? All this is essential information to consider as you decide where your company will go over the next twelve months and how your team could help you get there. Once you've closely considered the team and individual contributions, moving the plan forward will seem like a less daunting task.
- Talk to each of your department leaders as you create your plan outlines. Make sure you have their buy-in, feedback, and support before you announce significant new initiatives to the company as a whole. These discussions should also establish a clear understanding on both sides about how progress toward a given goal team will be measured – and how often the metrics will be analyzed. Whatever you do, don't keep any of your team leaders out of the loop about what you have planned for the coming year! Every team has an impact on the customer experience; every team and each individual team member has an important role to play in getting your company to the top of the mountain in 2023.
- Ask for help and support if you hit a roadblock. Sandler provides a business plan template that our departments and franchise owners follow; our coaches work closely with our franchise owners from the moment they get started in our network. Those same franchise owners build solid plans for their businesses and help their clients to create a plan that can be effectively executed.
If you need help with your business plan, that help is only a phone call away. You can find the Sandler training center closest to you here. Make the call. Tell them you want to complete a great business plan by the year's end.
I'll leave you with one final thought on this topic. Developing a business plan is your opportunity to reset, refine, and recharge your company's key strategic goals. That plan can be and should be, a blast to create. If that's not what you're experiencing, that might be because it's time for a change of pace.
We've got some of the highest satisfaction ratings in the franchise world; we've won all kinds of awards for having the best sales and management training, but the most important reasons people come to Sandler are always personal. People come to us because they're sick and tired of traveling, or sick and tired of missing their kids' events, or perhaps just sick and tired of feeling spread too thin. If you're currently struggling with your business and business plan, that may be a sign that you're ready to begin a new chapter in your career as a business owner. It may be time to look at a business where you have a clear blueprint for success, the personal support of an experienced coach, and the market advantage and revenue potential of an established brand leader.
If you'd like to discuss the opportunity to control your own destiny by owning a business like that, connect with us.