Writing a Business plan? It’s all about the follow-THROUGH

I was chatting with a good friend recently about a problem he is having with his business.  Finding good people.

Let me clarify what I mean by “finding good people”.   He isn’t looking for the world’s greatest talent.  (It would be nice…but isn’t a deal breaker).  He wants people on his team who:

  • do what they say they are going do;
  • when they say they are going do it;
  • and are willing to follow through and get their hands dirty

My friend has a media production company and is launching several concerts this summer.  He continues to receive recommendations for talent.  So it’s easy for him to find “good people”.

But when he schedules meetings or project delivery dates, he is not finding people who know how to follow-through.  They miss deadlines and meetings, forget to cancel or send updates and continually start and stop the project – without finishing.  Their heart is not into the work and it shows. And mind you, these are people who have been recommended.

This reminds me of a concept I have been sharing for years in regards to writing a business plan.  The importance of the FOLLOW-THROUGH.

Anyone can buy business plan writing books, start jotting down ideas and even attend some seminars/workshops on writing the business plan.  Anyone can brainstorm a business idea into the wee hours of the night and network solidly for a month or two to tell anyone in earshot distance.  Anyone can get started on writing the plan.

It’s those who finish it that distinguishes the real winners.  It takes a huge amount of discipline and dedication to finish.  You’ve got to be willing to sacrifice personal time.  You’ve got to be willing to ask questions and speak with advisors, mentors and others who can give you critical feedback.  And once you have that feedback, you have to be willing to spend time revising, editing and redrafting.

It takes time.

But more importantly, it takes someone or a team who is committed to following through even when the hurdles and bumps appear that will stall your plan.  You need patience, dedication …and thick skin to keep moving forward.

Here are some tips to get started:

  1. Set very specific small achievable goals.  Yes, this is SMART goals in action.  For example: “I want to complete the market research section by 6/30.  I want to revise the market research section after hosting 2 focus groups during the month of July”
  2. Include  room for adjustments.  Everyone has to change deadlines so allow yourself room to change and continue moving forward
  3. Reward yourself after completing each section.  Some extra time lounging on the weekend, a massage, or a good book that you’ve been wanting to indulge in.  Rewards are important to keep you motivated.

Keep me in the loop and tell me how it works for you!

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