An effective business plan takes time, patience, effective communication and hard work to complete. A saying that particularly applies to business planning is, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” With that thought in mind, the following are what I believe to be the key components in developing an effective business plan:

  1. Articulate in written form the vision for your team. Ensure that it is in line with the overall corporate vision and strategic objectives;
  2. Determine the key objectives to be accomplished in the next year in order to move closer to your vision;
  3. Assess any gaps that exist within the capabilities/resources of your team that need to be eliminated in order to achieve your objectives. This will include anticipating personnel needs (both self-sufficiency development for existing members and recruiting, screening and hiring new members if appropriate);
  4. Determine any obstacles that could occur that could prevent you from achieving your key objectives. This is a key step that is often missed in business plans;
  5. Determine the actions necessary to accomplish priority objectives and eliminate any material gaps and/or obstacles. This is, essentially, your business plan for the year;
  6. Share your thoughts with, and obtain input from, your team before finalizing the above items.  Assist them with completing their own personal business plans that support the overall team’s business plan, and their personal self-sufficiency development goals;
  7. Prepare a budget for the year that supports your business plan. Again, communicate with and seek input from your team;
  8. Establish key performance metrics for your team as a whole and each individual within the team (including yourself). Again, seek input from the people affected;
  9. Identify the three highest priority objectives (i.e. if nothing else gets done these will), and ensure that your team is onside with these goals. These are the ones that you should think about at the start of each day.
  10. Determine how you are going to celebrate success!

Should you have any questions or feedback regarding the content of this article please email me. ©

By Terry Thompson, Surrey, BC, CYBF Mentor,

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