This past week I invited a colleague to come to one of my Biz Diva Mastermind Groups to give the members direction on how to create a financial budget for 2016. Everybody in the group uses QuickBooks and the interactive presentation was tailored so everyone could take what was being taught and translate it into actionable steps. As you might imagine, some of the women were very excited about the opportunity to create their financial budget for the New Year, some already used a budget, and others felt it was more work than they wanted to do and they didn’t see the benefit. The best thing about the conversation was for each woman to uncover and confirm the reasons why creating a financial budget would or would not serve their business.
This conversation about budgeting began with talk about goals and that it is a proven fact that when you write down your goals you are more likely to accomplish them. For those in the group who already do an annual budget, it is no brainier; they understand the value and each year are willing to spend the resourses (time, energy, money) to get it done. Hopefully we converted a few more women to that path. Those that believed it was not worth their time/energy/money became clear that not creating a financial budget is ok for them and their business. Each of these outcomes is perfectly reasonable and dependent on individual circumstances.
Interestingly, business planning falls into the same category as budget creation, i.e., setting goals and intentions for the coming year. As I outlined above, a financial budget could be seen as optional. In my opinion, every woman in business should have some type of written plan that outlines direction for the coming year. If you’ve started to think about 2016 and what you want to accomplish, it’s a good time to start writing things down. And those of you who know me know that my very favorite way for you to embrace this concept is the One Page Business Plan®. The reason the One Page Business Plan is the perfect vehicle for planning and goal setting is because you get everything out of your head onto one piece of paper. In theory and in practice, this pushes you to reflect on what is most important for you to focus on in the coming year. One page has limited space to write things down and when you’re being intentional about what you are going to use that space for you are going to be more reflective and probably focus on your higher level aspirations. It gives you the opportunity to think about what you’re going to “say no to” in order to free up time, capacity, and money. It gives you a chance to contemplate what new you’re going to bring into your business, whether it’s new clients, support staff, employees, products, services, or office space. You are more likely to actualize if you articulate what you’re going to get rid of and what you’re planning to bring forth.
Just like with budget creation, the questions that always come up are “Why write a plan? Why should I bother? What’s in it for me?” I will tell you that there is a lot in it for you if you will embrace partnering with your goals, your objectives, your strategies and action steps to move your business forward. I am very passionate about this because I know it works. I also know it’s not for everyone. Good intentions will only get you so far in the business planning realm and writing things down is the very first step. I don’t want to mislead you and make you think, “If I write down my goals, that’s all it will take for me to get where I want to be.” It doesn’t work like that. You will need to put some serious thought into where you want to be at the end of the coming year, write down those goals and then think about what it will take to achieve the goals. The next best step is to come up with three ways that will support you in actualizing each goal that you wrote down. When you can substantiate “how” each goal is going to be achieved, it’s much more likely to be realistic and within your capacity to execute.
Every October through January, I teach the One Page Business Plan via live webinars and one day face to face classes. I invite you to learn more about the One Page Business Plan by visiting my website, scheduling a complimentary phone conversation by emailing email@example.com, or signing up here for the Tuesday, January 19th one day class in Sonoma County. There are no webinars or classes scheduled for the remainder of 2015 due to my pending knee replacement surgery. If you have interest, please let me know and I will keep you in the loop of January possibilities.