red checkmarkThroughout December, I’m focusing my blogs on business planning, so you have plenty of information to create a great plan. Look for checklists, processes, and systems--ready to use, too.

Agents, managers, and trainers: If you’ve been in the business any length of time, you know how much more challenging this business is than it used to be! Yet, most of the information we are still getting is about day-to-day selling and managing. However, we’ve learned that we can’t just keep completing tasks and get ahead. We know that, after we’ve conquered sales and management basic skills, we still have a whole group of skills to master. Those are called ‘business skills’, and they require as much dedication to master as do those sales and managing skills. One business skill is analyzing your business.

Why Business Analysis?

If we don’t know where we’ve been, how can we decide on best strategies for the next year?

Here are the tools you’ll need in your business planning toolkit:

  • Time analysis (watch my next blog for a questionnaire to analyze your time management)
  • Business plan activity review
  • Expense/budget review
  • Profit and loss statement review

1. Your time analysis. Do you have the analysis tools to see where your business is, and where you want to take it? With a time analysis tool, you can see what your priorities are. It’s amazing how many agents and managers have no idea where they spend the bulk of their time. Look at your schedule for the last week. Did you spend time in the areas that are most productive for you? If not, why not?

2. Business plan activity review tool. This allows you to capture the history of your business in a way that clarifies your direction. For example, does the tool you use ask you where you got your business last year? Does it ask you the percent of your listings you sold in normal market time? Managers, does your tool ask you the numbers of agents you interviewed, and your conversion rate? Find the tools that ask you the right questions.

3. The expense and budget review. How many agents have a budget? How many managers and owners? All businesspeople set budgets and review them. After all, it’s about profitability in a business, not productivity! At best, you want to use tools that are similar to the ones used by others at the same business level as you, so you can analyze like problems and solutions.

4. The profit and loss statement review. How many agents do you think have a profit and loss statement—and review it? I believe, less than 5%.  Yet, if you don’t know where your money went, you can’t analyze its effectiveness. Use Quicken or Quickbooks to get a handle on your money.

Analyzing your business in these four areas gives you a great ‘handle’ on your business habits, your strengths, your challenges–and the areas you want to change for a more successful year next year.

Big question: Does your business planning system or template provide you all the analysis tools you need? If not, what’s missing?

Plan_Act_CelebrateComplimentary Business Planning Webinar

4 Big Shifts to Make your Business Plan Exceptional in 2014

See the recorded webinar AND get the slides (so you don’t have to take notes. Click here.

Just a few of the things you’ll learn:

  • What’s been missing in your plan, and why it’s so important to include so your plan isn’t just words on paper
  • How to get the support you need to assure your plan works
  • How to think through your plan so it makes sense in ‘real life’
  • An attribute you have that you haven’t been using that will make a huge difference in your business
  • What some of the most successful businesses in the world are doing in 2014–that you can copy in your own business for much more success

Who will benefit:

  • Those without a plan: If you have never had a plan, or planning didn’t work for you, here’s your opportunity to get some guidance, motivation, and inspiration.
  • Those who have planned in the past: If you have had a plan in the past, you’ll get new strategies to build into your 2014 plan,
  • Those agents serious about growing their businesses!!!!!!

Click here to see the recorded webinar AND get all the slides!

Carla Cross literally ‘wrote the book on business planning’ for real estate professionals (the only one of its kind published internationally). Cross has written business planning courses and taught for most of the international real estate franchises. Her planning process has been tested ‘in the field’ and acclaimed as the most effective planning process for real estate pros available.

Do you need a better planning system? Check out my online system, Beyond the Basics of Business Planning. You’ll get all the advice and coaching you need from me, plus access to all my business planning documents.