Jeffrey Gitomer is one of my all time fav business gurus. He unabashedly LOVES sales and his hard-boiled delivery is grounded in goodness and integrity. Scratch the surface of this smart, tough guy and you’ll find mashed potatoes of love.

However, I think Jeffrey is all wet – at least pretty damp – in his latest blog about business planning. If your business – your life – isn’t working for you, a business plan canbe a great tool. You can change your business – and your life. A business plan canhelp you think new thoughts, take inspired, aligned action….and get better results.

When someone calls or emails me about their business, it can be hard to get my head around it. Their thoughts and words are all over the place. So, I ask, “What have you got written down? What can you show me?” At that point they usually just point to their head. “It’s all in here.” Well, moving the ideas to paper, to a binder, to your iPad or computer, is the start of making it real. Thought begets reality. Thought moves to material form by writing it or typing it.

Where Jeffrey and I are in agreement: No need to create complicated 5 year spreadsheets. Your Biz Plan could be one page long…or no more than 10. What if you condensed the process of business planning? From Friday evening to Sunday evening, you could think about and clarify your vision for your ideal business. You could commit to action that will move you in that direction. Profitably. Without draining your time and energy for no real reward. Without creating a pile of debt. And, you could hit the ground running on Monday.

So, put a business plan together. Get a three ring binder. (Or start up a Word doc, or a page on your iPad…) And start writing!

  • The Mission – Why should this business exist? What’s the point?
  • The Elevator Speech – How do you solve problems, deliver value, satisfy desire…differently and better than the other guys?
  • Your Goals – What do you want to achieve this coming year? The next?
  • The Organizational Chart – Who can help? What would they do for you? How do they win?
  • The Financial Plan – How will this business make money and how much? How much will you need to charge to make it work?
  • The Marketing Plan – How can you get enough of the right calls, at the right time, from the right customers?
  • The Top 10 Projects – What projects could you energize that would help you solve your most pressing problems or capitalize on your most compelling opportunities?
  • The Executive Summary – How can you communicate all this in one page? To show to investors, team members, your spouse or partner. And to help you gain clarity about what you want and how you are going to get it.

One last thing. You can’t do this wrong. If you spend two days thinking and planning only good can come from that. We are too old to let yet another day, another year, go by as we stand helplessly on the sidelines of our own lives. One weekend could make all the difference.

Like Jeffrey’s idea about the one-pager? The Executive Summary is a one page business plan. That may be all you need.

I LOVE business planning. A good one is short, clear, inspiring and helps make fairy tales come true.