Business Owner Breakthrough Podcast

Mastering Business Planning

November 07, 2023 Pete Mohr Season 4 Episode 43
Business Owner Breakthrough Podcast
Mastering Business Planning
Show Notes Transcript

In today's episode, Pete Mohr, dives deep into the importance of planning and projections. Think of it as setting your business GPS. Too often, entrepreneurs dismiss planning as a corporate luxury. But here's the thing: without it, you're a ship without navigation—bound for disaster. Planning doesn't just set your course; it adds flexibility, allowing you to adjust your sails when the wind changes.

Here are a few things Pete covers:

  • Why planning is essential for all businesses, big or small
  • The concept of a "clothesline" plan: a definitive start and end
  • Guiding principles your plan must include
  • How to adapt your plans to a changing market
  • Why you need both plans and projections

It’s time to take action:

After listening, your first move is to sit down and evaluate your current business plan. Is it a static document or a dynamic tool? If you've been sidelining planning, now is the time to course-correct. Take the first step and schedule a planning session with your team this week.

Are you looking to make some changes in your business and your life in 2024?  Head over to and book a chat with me to see if we're the right fit!

Support the show

To Book a no charge Freedom Call with Pete, to see if you’re a good fit for his business coaching head over to to find a time that works for you!

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Pete Mohr:

Today we're gonna dive into the third pillar in our 10 part series, the 10 pillars of purposeful leadership and talking about planning and projections. And I know planning might not be the most glamorous part of running a business. But let me tell you, the ship without a navigation system is bound to hit an iceberg. And we learned that lesson from the Titanic, right? Welcome back to another episode here of the business owner breakthrough. I'm your host, Pete Moore. And today we're going to learn a little bit more about how to set your business's GPS. Some people think that planning is really just for the big guys, you know, the corporate entities, the big franchises, that's a myth, because no business is too small to benefit from a good plan. A well the plan isn't just a document gathering dust in your door, it's your roadmap, planning brings clarity and focus and a sense of direction not only for you as the business owner, but for all of your team as well. It's the difference between wandering around and moving with purpose and direction. One of my coaches in the past talked about a clothesline, and the clothesline has a definite start and a definite end, right. So when you think of all of the different pieces of that clothesline, they're all on that same path. And you can think of it that way as an interstate or highway as well. Going from one town to the next you have the beginning part, you have the destination. And the only thing that's veering you off that path really is maybe getting gas along the way. But essentially, you are staying on that path to get the destination. And that's what we're talking about here today. Because the solid business plan includes your guiding principles, like your critical actions and key characteristics, your marketing, your strategy, your operation plan, your financial projections and your business goals. We've talked about that all at length here on the business owner breakthrough. But don't forget to include your unique selling points, you know, that makes your business stand out. For the rest, you'll need to be able to articulate this in the plan. So once you've got your plan in place, what about the future? Look, the market changes and technology evolves and consumer behaviors shift. Your plan needs to be dynamic, you need to account for possible shifts, and be prepared to adjust your sales. Projections are not just about crystal ball gazing in the future. They're about data analysis, you have to look at the trends of your industry, do some competitive research, make some educated guesses about where you are and where your market is headed, right. And to do that, we pull out one of the old sort of business tools called a SWOT analysis. And yeah, it's one of those business tools from business school, but it's worthy of doing for your business. And SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. And it can be really invaluable part of your future oriented planning, if you do a SWOT, and it gives you a balanced view of where you stand and what challenges you might face. Don't ignore the weaknesses or threats. Planning for them is your best defense for the future. Right. So how do we adjust when things don't go as planned, even the best plan sometimes need to be adjusted along the way. And the beauty of a plan isn't just the roadmap it provides, but also the flexibility that allows and as a small business owner, you can move on a dime if you have to, and when the unexpected turns happen, like a sudden market downturn or a new competitor or COVID. Or you can adjust without losing sight of your long term goals. It's not just about rewriting the plan, but it's about recalibrating it in a way, right? Let's clear something up. Projections aren't the same as plans. Your plan is about what you'll do and how you'll do it. It's the action projections are about what might happen as a result. So you could say that projections are the outcomes that you expect from following your plan. They could be financial, like revenue targets, or maybe operational, like achieving production milestones, or just depends on what your business is. But remember, it's okay to have a range, you don't need to have one specific fixed number you need room for the unpredictable. One thing is predictable, is that you're going to have some unpredictable areas in your year for your projections or the next few years, right. There are countless tools out there to help you map out your plans and projections, from software to financial projections, mind mapping tools for brainstorming, you know, don't shy away from using tech to make the process easier. The key is to find out what works best for you and your team. Take the pictures, get everything down and then reconstruct it along the way. So a couple of ideas that you might have here if you're going to work with your team on setting some of this stuff for goal mapping, you know as you want to start to think about your short term goals. Ask your team to start by identifying at least three short term goals. short term goals really are objectives that they themselves intend to accomplish within the next three to six months. These could be as simple as hiring a new employee, maybe launching a marketing campaign or something new operational new process in place, then you want them to think about the midterm goals and the midterm goals I like to think of as sort of six months to a year give or take, or sometimes a little bit into the 18 month area. And they may include expanding maybe a product line or entering a new market, putting in a new CRM system, whatever the case is. And then we're getting into the long term goals, ask them to note down three long term goals that they have. These days, I look at long term as being three years that used to be sort of three to five years, but I would say closer to three years, the way change is happening. These days, it's just so quick. So long term goals often involve a big milestone, like buying out maybe a competitor, or taking on a new division or whatever the case may be, depending on your team member and what you're looking at doing. Number four is taking in the action steps because for each of these goals, ask them to identify at least two actionable steps. The steps are the specific tasks that they'll need to perform to achieve each of the goals, right. And then you got to put the deadlines on what are the deadlines for each action step. Deadlines are so crucial just to keep you and your team on track, then we got to look at the accountability chart, it always goes back to accountability, right, assign someone responsible for each of these action steps. And if you're a solopreneur, that will be you. But as your team grows, you can delegate this sort of stuff. And if you're working with a team so that they're creating these, you're putting all these ideas together. And then even if it's somebody else's idea doesn't necessarily mean they need to own the accountability, it might be better suited for somebody else on the team, right? And you have to review these things on a regular basis. We have monthly manager meetings, and we review these sort of things every month as we go through in order to keep this stuff going. And the activity will create your goals in a more tangible way by setting actionable steps, the deadlines, and you increase the chances of achieving them, are you going to achieve every one of them by the deadline? Probably not. But if you don't have that stuff in place, your chances of achieving those is much less. This approach really encourages foresight and strategic planning, which are crucial for any business, especially small ones, not just the big ones. When you do it together as a team, it's a shared vision. And that's what I like really including the team members and all of these exercises, so that you're coming up with sort of your corporate side of things, but they're also coming up at the same time with their own goals along the way. So here's a few questions you might bring into that sort of conversation. You know, what's the one year revenue target gives you a concrete number and you can plan around it if you don't already have that right. Number two would be how will achieving your short term goals contribute to your one year target? It's one of those questions as you bring up every month in your monthly meeting, you want to make sure that you're hitting those right ensures the goals are aligned with the broader perspective. Number three would be what are the potential obstacles for your midterm goals. So not only do we want to have the goals, but we want to have a vision of what the obstacles we're going to encounter might be so that we can address them? And number four would be who are the key team members that will help you reach those goals? Right? How often will you review your goals? I've mentioned to you in our case, we do it at least once a month, and then the shorter term ones we'll do weekly on our weekly meetings. What's one business trend that you think will impact your business in the next year? I think that's an important question to ask in this little strategic working with your team. And number seven, how can you adjust your long term goals based on this trend? And thinking about the future trends for your business is really important because they come so quickly these days. Change is just happening beyond any comprehension of most business owners. And you gotta be giving yourself some time to think about this sort of stuff. So remember, goals and plans aren't set in stone. They're more like guidelines. And as you gather more information, be ready to adjust them it's okay to adjust them. And hey, if you're feeling stuck from moving from operator owner within your business, I'm here to help you can always reach out to me at speak to to book an appointment with me to see if we're a right fit. Just go to speak to and we'll have a conversation for an hour or so. Look, business isn't the game of chance. It's a game of skills strategy, and yes, a little bit of luck too. But you can tip the odds in your favor with meticulous planning and sensible projections. Right. Your business plan isn't a one and done deal. It's a living document that evolves with you and your business and what's going on in the world. So, if you'd be interested in taking part of my next goal setting webinars, simply reach out to me by email at Pete at mortgage coach. That's Pete at mo Ach, and I'll let you know when the next one is so that you can join in as well. Now go and make it a great day


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