Here’s the thing, everyone has a plan. It might be to build the business, it might be to retire next year, it might be to buy a rental property next year. The thing is, more often than not that plan is in someone’s head rather than being written down.
Now this in itself isn’t necessarily a problem. The real problem is that if it’s in someone’s head then:
- The chances are they can’t articulate it as well as they could if it was written down
- There is no one holding them accountable to what’s in their head (if it’s written down the bit of paper holds you accountable)
- The ‘next steps’ to making the plan happen can be quickly forgotten about or disregarded
The key to us is distilling the plan in someone’s head into clear next steps which are documented. This keeps people accountable to actioning those next steps and making progress.
We’ve got to confess, we’re not always that great at documenting things ourselves. By sharing this with everyone, we’ll be more accountable to making progress on those next steps.
How do I start?
The trick to writing it down is having a framework to write it down in. We’re not talking about a big business plan or a 90-page plan to build a rental property portfolio. You won’t read them and they’ll just gather dust.
What we’re talking about is a concise set of steps to achieve the plan. Adopting this sort of framework helps distil the plan, provide clarity on the next steps, shows how to achieve them, and (importantly) holds you accountable to following through with the plan.
Why should I start?
Without setting up these concise plans and frameworks, your end goals could stay in the “too hard basket”, or be something which you never quite get around to actioning.
What is a framework?
So we’ve talked about using a framework to give clarity on your plan (instead of a business plan or 90-page plan for building a rental portfolio). Get in touch and we’re happy to send you through what we use with our customers on a no obligation basis. In short however, it’s about:
- Articulating the plan in a sentence or two
- Getting clarity on why the plan is important
- Identify the key milestones to completing the plan
- Actioning those milestones and sharing them with someone to hold you accountable.
I’ve got my framework, now what?
The framework is only the beginning. The next steps can be to:
Turn it into a dashboard – having the ability to see what’s happening at a glance and whether you’re on track can keep you more engaged to the plan.
Create KPIs and report on them – KPIs form part of the dashboard, but more importantly can give an indication today of whether you’ll be successful tomorrow. You can read more about KPIs here, or get in touch and we can talk you through the difference between lead KPIs and lag KPIs.
Templates and processes – Part of planning is turning what you do today into a template or process. This means you can delegate it to someone else tomorrow, freeing you to work on your plan later on. Apologies for using a massively-overused cliché, it helps you work on your business not in it.
Accountability – we’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating. Writing the plan down and sharing it with someone means you’re held accountable to doing what you said you’ll do. It’s like having a personal trainer for your plan.
From here, start working out what you need to include in your plan. Try using our framework above, or get in touch for what we use with our customers. If you’d like to catch up for a no-obligation Discovery Session to run through what’s holding your business back (read more here), schedule an appointment now.
iif Chartered Accountants help businesses plan to build their cashflow, profitability, and exit strategies. iif Chartered Accountants are simplifying accounting for businesses around Wellington, Lower Hutt and Porirua.