There was once a time where businesses didn’t even consider opening their doors until they had created a business plan, paid absurd amounts of money to have it reviewed, and after day one they never looked at it again… that is until the business began to fall apart… and we know at that point it is time to dig those shoes in the side of the mountain because it is going to be a hard climb up.
However, there is a second group of people who do look at their business plan. There is the traditional and almost dreaded annual review of where the business is. If you are one of the ‘good’ ones you may even do a review of your plan every 90 days.
There is a third group of people (HINT: this is the one you should belong to) who put their business plan on their desk and use it as a reference weekly, if not almost daily. In the days of reciting our daily affirmations (which of course are vital) I submit that we should all add this one to it:

“My business plan is a living, breathing, crucial part of my daily business and it serves me daily”

Your business plan is your strategic plan… or at least it should be. There is a school of thought that business plans are obsolete or only important if you are going for funding or finding partners. If this is you, don’t be surprised if you wake up one day and ask yourself,

“Where did my business go?”

“Why am I not meeting my targets?”

“Where did my day go?”

Or, worse.

“What happened to my inspiration?”

Our business plans should be as easily accessible as our favorite business reference book. How it is designed is up to you (and check back for next weeks article on the nuts and bolts of creating your business plan – and its not what you think). What is important is that you use it.

Your plan is not just an exercise in business regurgitation of mind to paper, it is your strategy guide, your war plan, marching orders, and your game plan.

“We plan to fail if we fail to plan”

From Creation To Maintenance
Creating your plan is a great place to start. If you don’t have one, go ahead and finish this article then schedule some time in your calendar today to gain knowledge about your plans and another date to write your plan.

Let’s take a quick step back and define what “maintenance” is. Maintenance is just that… maintaining your plan. This means it is a document you look at regularly and adjust as needed. Perhaps you are the type who reads a book and makes notes on the sides or highlights different sections.

Make your business plan just that… a business book you can’t put down because it is so good. The best business minds in the game today not only have a business plan, but they live by three rules of USE:

Utilize it: read, reread, and read it again…. And again…. And again.
Standardize it: the more you use it, the more you adjust it, change it, add to it, or remove unnecessary items from it.
Engage it: When we are engaged, we become driven. Our thoughts are clear. Our mindset solid. It becomes our ‘silent partner.’

When we write something down, it becomes real. The best coaches will coach you to have reminders in various places… 3×5 cards with your favorite quote on your bathroom mirror, for example. Imagine how much more effective, persistent, and focused you will be when you have not only written it down but keep it handy and look at it?

For those of you who use a calendar and plan your days or weeks, there is no better help to you when planning your week than to have your business plan open are looking through it.

It’s time to take a serious look at how you use your plan. Cohesion is simply creating something whole from parts – one part business plan, one part implementation, one part viewing, one part reviewing.

Writing business plans can be tough, however it can be tougher to maintain them. Comment below or connect with me and tell me what strengths your current plan has and why.