Small Business Success Plan


Annual plan workbook for business owners
Create a practical plan of action for the coming year--Goals, Strategies, Activities, and Key Challenges
PDF. 98 pages. Plus plan template

For owners of any kind of small businesses—from 1 to 100 employees—that need to think through all aspects of having a practical plan. I recommend you include your co-owners and key managers.

Owners who have a practical plan, and pay attention to it, will more likely succeed. Even if there’s lots of uncertainty. “Plan for what you can, then plan how you’ll deal with the things you can’t plan for."

This is a step-by-step workbook that we have used in our annual plan workshops for over 25 years.

1. The big questions. Where you want to go, your vision of success, what your exit strategy is, what you must do to get there, what opportunities and problems you will face, and how you’ll deal with them.

2. Parts of your business. Questions about every aspect of your business: Marketing and sales, operations and getting the work done, management and administration, key people and other employees, finances and financial systems.

3. Financial goals
Revenue—including 8 different ways to project your revenue.
Profit--including how to calculate needed profit.
Capital needed for growth, working capital.
Your paycheck.
Your spending plan—where you need to spend more, and to cut costs.

4. Key challenges. The toughest part of achieving your goals. Dilemmas, uncertainties, choice points, risk factors. How you will tackle these. Any plan that ignores these is bound to fail.

5. Action plan. Condense all this into a brief, practical plan of action. I tell people, “If you can’t write your plan on a page, you can’t get it done in a year anyway.”

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