The Building of a Business Plan…Part 5

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Ok, we are almost at the finish line with this business plan. You should be feeling a pretty strong connection with your products, your ideal customer and how you are going to reach them. Now it is time to determine how you will know you have reached your goals.

To know when you have succeeded at your business plan, you first have to know what success looks like. Do you have a revenue goal? Do you have a year-over-year growth goal, do you know how many new customers you need/want. What is your version of success? My goals are usually defined by the number of billable hours I want, the number of new clients I would like to engage.

Once you define what success means to you, you will then be able to measure how your efforts are helping you achieve success. Keep in mind that success is more than net income, revenue, etc. Keep in mind when you set your goals, your personal life should play into it as well.

In the summer, I like to work about 3 days a week, so my billable hour goal needs to compensate for that during the busier months. My daughter and I used to travel extensively in the summers, so my goals incorporated that time off and the need for the disposable income in order for me to make that happen. So remember, living an awesome, fulfilling personal life should be the ultimate goal. Your successful business provides for that awesome personal life, so be sure to keep your personal goals in mind when you start planning the benchmarks of success that you can measure against.

Common goal ideas:
Revenue
Net Income
Gross Margin
Year-over-year growth
# of Customers
Billable Hours

Other non Number driven goals can be.
Reputation
Standing in the Community/Industry or Field
Considered an Expert in the field
Online Reviews

Good luck with your business plan. I hope these steps have shown you how to define, build and measure the strength of a business plan. The process should really clarify how you can improve the success of your business. It is usually a powerful tool once you have gotten over the hesitation is starting to write a business plan. It is not as overwhelming as it seems when you break it down in the 5 steps we have shown you here.

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