in the next posts, I’ll be spotlighting business planning. Look for checklists, processes, and systems, ready for you to use.
Today, companies are touting that they will “make a business plan” for you. All you have to do is to put some numbers into the software, and, voila, your business comes out the ‘other end’. Sounds so easy. We love to get something for no effort! It reminds me of the story my sister told about one of her jobs in college. She worked for a cardiologist. She put electrodes on patients to prepare for the cardiogram. One day, she was putting electrodes on an elderly gentleman. She had him remove all jewelry, hearing aids, etc. To reduce his anxiety, she said, “Just relax. I’ll do all the rest.” He replied, “Honey, I’ve been waiting all my life for a woman to tell me that!”
Unfortunately, he was going to have to wait a little longer.
Business Planning Software Can’t Extract the One-of-a-Kind YOU
Similarly, expecting software to make you a business plan is an over-simplification of what that it can do for you. Also, it’s a mis-representation of what a business plan is. In this blog, I’ll give you one concept that will change the way you think about your business plan. Applying this concept will help you create and execute your business plan with confidence. Following this concept will assure you’ll get the outcomes you want. (You’ll never say again, “Will this work for me?”).
Getting Past the Numbers to a True Executable Business Plan
Why would you want to create a business plan that’s not useful to you as you go about your business every day? I’ve coached hundreds of agents and leadership in creating what I call ‘executable’ business plans. Executable business plans are those that you can
use every day in creating the actions that lead to the results the client wants.
That means your business plan has to go way past just the numbers (goals), and get to ‘where the rubber meets the road’—the daily and weekly actions you will take that directly relate to the results or goals you intend to reach. Too many times, real estate professionals separate the action plans from the bigger picture of the business plan. However, they are all a part of the same busines plan!
A Stunning Concept: Your Systems Make Up Your Business Plan
For years, my business planning resources for agents and managers have taken them past the numbers to help them create the related, systematic actions they need to take each day to reach their goals. Then, I read a concept that sums up my approach.
This concept is from Michael Gerber, the well-known small business guru and author of the famous books, The E-Myth and The E-Myth Revisited. (I highly recommend you read both of these). He says,
“The integration of your systems is your business plan.”
What he means by that statement: As you think through how you’re going to act each day, you’re going to create systems and processes, including your operational checklists—so you can follow the plan. These systems put down in black and white how you’ll lead generate, how you’ll work with buyers, how you’ll market to people after the sale, etc.
Creating the systems. Now, you are actually creating the actions you’re prepared to take each day that lead you to your goals. You are going to relate those systems to your goals. For example: Your goal is twenty-four homes sold this year. Your lead generation plan includes contacting three ‘target’ or segregated markets. To contact, you have a system, consisting of a certain number of calls, mailings, etc. over a certain period of time. You have checklists to back these actions, and you have delegated part of this action plan to others.
Armed with these concrete actions—in order—you have created your ‘replicable’ business. You now can either
- Carry out the systems yourself, or
- Delegate them to grow your business
Creating Systems: The First Step in Growing Your Business to Sell
There’s a huge bonus in creating a business plan based on the integration of your systems. One of our biggest concerns in our industry is time management. Creating systems that are delegatable takes us out of the ‘crisis management’ realm and put us into the pro-active, business-building arena. Why not make your business plan systematized and executable?