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The Power of Planning

Business coach holding a planning book

The new year is now in full swing and over the last couple of weeks I have spent time finalising my own business plan and also engaging with many of our Franchise Partners on their business plans for the year.

 

It is unusual for me to only be finalising my business plan in the month of January, however, as I was working on my plan towards the end of last year, I realised that something was missing in the plan.  After much thought, it dawned upon me that my predominant emotion around the plan was one of fear.  Over the next couple of days/weeks I developed what I refer to as the 5 Emotions involved in Business Planning that I believe each Business Owner should take into consideration when completing their business plans.  Whilst I will expand on this below, it is important to remind ourselves that our plans need to be built in sequence using the ActionCOACH Formula for Success which is:  Dreams x Goals x Learn x Plan x Act.

 

The 5 Emotions are:

  1. Fear

The start of the planning process is to spend quality time doing the dreaming for that which you want in your own life; recognising that your business is the vehicle to achieve your life’s dreams and Vision.

 

What I have noticed over the last number of weeks is that for many business owners, insufficient time and importance is allocated to developing inspiring dreams or Vision for your life. A proper Dream/Vision for your life will always stretch you or require you to operate outside of your comfort zone.  This is where the fear factor kicks in. A dream that requires you to stretch your thinking in terms of how you operate your business will always have an element of fear in it.  When this is present, you start asking yourself some of the following questions:

  • What happens if I fail?
  • What happens if I disappoint those that I have shared the dream with?
  • How much will it take from me to be able to achieve this?
  • Do I have the discipline to make certain sacrifices to make this dream become a reality for me?
  • Isn’t it just easier to play safe and settle for something less stretching?
  • Can I do it ?

 

Every one of us have been given the ability to do greater things, to build a legacy beyond your comfort zone.  It does take time, thought and discipline to develop a dream/vision for your life that is in line with your calling in life.

 

  1. Excitement

The more you invest time to develop a dream that is in line with your calling in life, the greater the level of excitement will be when one focusses on what the outcome will look like or feel like for you and your family.

 

The following questions need to be asked at this stage:

  • Who, other than myself, will benefit from the Dream/ Vision that I have set for my life?
  • What will it feel like for you when you are able to realise that Dream?
  • What will be the impact on those that I choose to serve when this dream is realised?
  • How important is it for you to be able to achieve that Dream?

 

  1. Clarity

Clarity is achieved when you start translating your dream/vision into a business plan with the sole purpose of building the business to serve your dream/vison for your life.  As mentioned above, your business is a vehicle to achieve your personal dreams and vision for your life.

 

Your business plan needs to detail the following:

 

  • The business’s Revenue and Profit targets to be able to achieve the dream/ Vision that you have set for the year. Thus, the Dream needs to be broken down into chunks highlighting what you need to achieve for the next 12 months and what it will cost to achieve that.
  • A detailed budget or cashflow plan highlighting the various revenue streams and costs in the business for the next 12 months.
  • A detailed Marketing plan for the next 12 months, highlighting which Marketing strategies you will be implementing per quarter to generate the number of leads that are required to achieve your revenue target for the year.
  • A detailed People plan. How are you going to leverage your business using your team to be able to – “Develop a Commercial Profitable, Enterprise, that buys you Time and Freedom to do that which you have been called to do”.  In other words, a business that works without you; or as Sharon Lechter states in her book – ExitRICH; how are you going to exit yourself from your daily responsibilities in your business to focus on that which you have been called to do.

 

  1. Confidence

Confidence in your business plan is only achieved once you have done the hard yards and built detail in your plan.

 

Some questions to reflect on:

  • On a scale of 1-10, how confident are you that you will be able to achieve the plan?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how committed are you to make the plan happen?
  • How important is it for you to achieve the plan and your personal dream and vision ?

 

  1. Restfulness or Peace.

Whilst this is not often spoken about or referenced in a business planning sense, it recently dawned upon me that it is a very important component of the planning process for the following reasons:

 

  • Operating in world that is filled with uncertainty and high levels of anxiety, the one thing that we can control, is the detail that goes into the plan. The greater the detail, the higher the sense of peace and calmness that we experience when activating the plan
  • One of the best characteristics of great leaders is their ability to operate in rest and not in strife or turmoil. People are often drawn to leaders that demonstrate calmness, in any situation.  As a leader, you have a better chance of being able to operate in rest when you have confidence in your plan and your people’s ability to deliver the plan.

 

In conclusion, your business is a vehicle to achieve your personal dream/ vision and as such, you need to be clear about what your dream is before you jump into developing your business plan.

 

Follow the system:  Dream, Goal, Learn, Plan, Act.

Dream is done at a personal level for the business owner and is personal to him/her.

Goal setting is done at the business level to activate a plan to achieve the dream.

Learn is done at a personal and team level to build the skills required to achieve the goal.

Plan is done at a business level to ensure the business can position the business owner to achieve his/her personal dream.

Act is done at a personal and team level using leverage to achieve the business plan.

When this process is followed you will move from Fear to Excitement, Clarity will drive Confidence, which in turn results in Rest or Peace for you (the business owner).

 

Pieter Scholtz, ActionCOACH Country Partner
actioncoach.africa | pieterscholtz@actioncoach.com