Business planning …the phrase alone sounds so formal, so time-consuming, doesn’t it? You have employees and clients to orchestrate. You need to keep your trucks and equipment on the road. You need to keep orders and jobs flowing. You are dealing with breakdowns of various kinds. All the while, you are working to run and grow your business, keep your family happy, and make some money. Good money, you hope, to make this all worthwhile and striving to have some fun and enjoy your life. Sometimes fun seems to come last.
Then someone comes along and advises that you should plan your business. What? You don’t have time for formal business planning – that is for large corporations. Or is it?
Is it possible to plan, quickly and effectively, such that it actually makes a difference? This question is like asking, “Is it possible to upgrade a work truck without putting it into the shop for several days?”
Luckily, the answer is yes. There is a business planning tool that is practical, fast to use and gets results. It is a called the Business Power Plan – and yes, it gets the job done in only 3 pages. Better yet, it takes only around 5 hours to create and you have a 90-day action plan that evolves with your goals.
Here are a couple of powerful examples:
Meet John, who created a successful specialty construction business with 7 locations all across the state he lives in. He is contemplating how to sell his business over the next few years. His plan is to reinvest the money and buy apartments buildings. This plan creates ongoing income without having to run the business every day.
But John has a dilemma. He knows he is too locked in to working in his business and not on his business. He needs to grow systematically and maintain great customer reviews to sell his business for the amount his knows it’s worth. So, John jumped in to the Business Power Plan with both feet.
During planning, he made several unanticipated discoveries. He found he could solve his toughest challenges through developing systematic (yet simple) training for his employees. What made it hard for him to be absent had to do with what was in his brain – his brain alone. A simple process we do is called Brilliance Extraction(TM). It changed everything. John was surprised about how soon the rewards of Brilliance Extraction kicked in. The return-on-investment (ROI) appeared within a few months. John had more fun with his work again, too, because his biggest staff headaches were gone and turnover was greatly reduced. He will sell his business at some point, but in the meantime, he is having more fun while increasing what his company is worth. He made it so much easier to sell his business because he has captured his knowledge in simple, yet powerful training tools. The value of his knowledge translated into his business having more value.
Now let’s look at Mary. Years ago, she bought a specialty construction business. She managed to grow the business to 75 times its original size. Yet, many things stayed the same from those much humbler beginnings. Systems had grown some as the company scaled up, yet, some “procedures” were so loose they almost didn’t deserve that term. As a result, the company made some very costly hiring decisions. Its process for bidding for jobs was no longer working well either. They worked harder and harder – and got less and less results. The Business Power Plan gave a new perspective. It turned out to be a tool that got the company, its leadership and team, refocused on what the company was best at. They identified – with the help of fresh eyes – what were the quickest ways to make things better. Low-hanging fruits for raising revenue and profit emerged. The owner also managed to plot her own retirement in the process, too. That had seemed impossible just months before.
Great you say, how does all this “magic” happen?
Here a couple of questions for you:
- Can you carve out 4 to 5 hours (not all at once) and think about your business with five guiding questions?
- Are you willing to write down what comes to your mind? Or, are you willing to have a few conversations with someone who captures what you say, sorts it into a useful down-to-earth game plan?
If you answered “yes”, get started! All you need to do is think about five questions. The answer to each question forms a concise section of the Business Power Plan.
Here are the questions:
- What is your vision for this business (and for your life)? Some of that vision you are willing to share. Some of it might be private (your exit strategy, for example).
- What is the purpose (also called mission) of your business (other than making money, of course)? How can you say that in 8-12 words?
- What are your goals, e.g., with regard to revenue, profit, your team, exit/succession etc.? Of course, the more specific your goals are the better. Also, a date by which you want to achieve each goal is important.
- What is your game plan for achieving these goals? For example, if you want to raise revenues by X dollars how many more jobs of what type and size do you need to sell? How do you plan to get those extra sales?
- Which action steps do you need to take over the next 90 days to make your game plan happen? Break it down into bite-size chunks you and/or your team can do. Keep it simple. Getting started is key. Start with a month if 90 days seems too long.
Owners of businesses in the construction sector, whether larger or small, love using the Business Power Plan. It is a relief to finally get the many thoughts they carry in their heads down on paper in one place. Especially, to organized thinkers with a bend for the mechanical. You like to see things flow.
Furthermore, the plan is so practical. It is the living, breathing type of plan construction business owners need to be successful AND have work-life balance, too.
With some guidance, you end up with 90-day action plan. At last, you ate the proverbial elephant one bite at a time!
Ready to give this a try? You can download the Business Power Plan template for free here.
Drop us a line at [email protected] and let us know how this is working for you. We are also happy to answer questions you may have.