Getting what you want starts with a plan

It’s time to re-launch your small business and that can set people into all kinds of emotional turmoil.  Some of us are excited about the thoughts of great success and opportunities in our small businesses, others are tired and worn out about having to do it all again, while others are not sure where to re-start.  Some will take the time to fill in a detailed business plan – only to have it sit on the shelf for the rest of the year.  So why is it that after we have spent so much time deciding what we want to build, what actions need to happen, and setting up a time line – that we close the cover never to make it happen?  Every small business owner will do a business plan, yet few will use it. That’s right…business plans don’t work!  Actually, it’s not the plan that isn’t working, it’s us.  Even though we know what to do, we still can’t seem to get it done.

Why business plans don’t work

Part of the problem when we write out a business plan is not the tasks, but the execution.  Each of us have a set of natural instincts, skills, and strengths that we can use. When we try to tackle a task with a methodology that is not in our strength set, we end up fighting a losing battle.  On top of this, we may have some internal reservations or fears that, when added to the mix, can prevent us from starting toward the direction that we want.  So, now what?

The plan that does work

To successfully move forward in the direction we want to go, we first have to get clear about what is holding us back. We then need to find what works best in our reality. This takes time (and trial and error) to figure out. Just because it works for a friend, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right thing for you.  You will want to consider the following areas:

  • Leadership

The limits of your leadership will stop your business and sales growth.  Spending the time to be trained in leadership skills (or even reading a good leadership book) will help.  Your business will only sustain growth as high as your leadership level; the two are directly related.

  • Skills

The power of your business skills (and how you use them) is very important to how you get things done.  If you are in business or sales, you will need sales training to learn how to open client relationships better. Another important business skill is your ability to handle objections (as this will dictate or influence the money you make).

  • Mental mindset

After studying hundreds of small business clients, we have discovered that in each person’s subconscious mind there is a pre-set level for success.  This predetermined level of success is formed by all the different things we emotionally believe.  When we try to move forward in our small business, we bump into these and they can stop us cold.  You will know when these show up because you get a feeling of anxiety when you think about the next steps you need to take towards your success. You might be able to work on some of these by yourself but it is faster and less stressful if you work with a professional in performance physiology or psychology.

  • Timing

It’s important to understand that it may take some time to build a good, solid foundation of leadership and business skills. Without this foundation, you may fall short of your goals and delay growth.  Most business owners overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in three.  Allow yourself time to grow and develop a solid foundation of skills.

  • Education

What education or knowledge do you need in order to set things up properly for your success?  Here at Stoke Growth, we will begin researching a new business idea many months in advance before a launch.  That way, we know what we can do, who we need to help us, and explore the inner workings of that next step. 

  • Physical Conditions

When your business grows, so will your need for physical resources (like office space, equipment and supplies).  Knowing in advance when the right time is to make those purchases prevents impulse purchases and over expenditures.

  • Advisory Team

This is the biggest mistake that a small business owner can make – the, “I can do it all myself” mentality.  It’s impossible for you to maintain objectivity when you are emotionally going through something.  Having a team outside of your business can ensure that you have a safe sounding board in which to bounce ideas off and to get good advice.  The strength of your advisors will determine if you make it though some of the challenges that you will have.


Make a custom action plan

Throw out the business plan that just states your goals and make a plan to discover your way of accomplishing your success.  Grab a crayon and a piece of paper and write down one thing you want to get done – then think of as many creative ways there are available to accomplish your goal.

Remember:  You build a small business one task at a time.

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