Monday, December 27, 2010
If You Fail To Plan, You Are Planning to Fail
When I ran my brokerage business until last year when we were bought out, I spent a lot of time planning on where we were going the following year. I felt real good about our plan, and about what I learned in prior planning that I applied to executing and following through on the new plan. It's an interesting experience, going through your prior years plan at its transitory stage to the following year. Its like recapping a season and remembering all the turns, twists, jumps and bumps that you took during the year as you tried to get to the goalposts you set. If I'm smart, I'll learn and glean invaluable information from what we learned in prior years too, and formed by our experience and intuition we take this period to analyze where we think we see the market going, where the opportunities are within those markets, and how we plan to get there. Clearly identified your mission statement, core values, target markets, and vision in your overall Business Plan, your Annual Plan should surround your model that lends itself to attracting the right people to the bus, systems for training that provide for empowering your agents and perpetuating a productive, professional and compliant environment, and retaining your staff through support and lead generation, generating more opportunity and increasing your margins per transaction whle providing superior service. Everything you do, all the decisions you make, all fall within these specific disciplines. It mades for a more organized planning process, developing stategies and actions/tasks related to the strategies, when you know how the machine works, and what your machines economic drivers are. If you have never planned, try it. Put thought into where you want to be, and what you want your business to look like. If you want your business to grow, think of how, what and where. Make a plan, know where you are going, know the plays, know the goalposts, cause thats where the ball has to get to at the end of the day. It's so much more effective when you plan. I always use the analogy of football players to planning. If you have ever seen pro football players up close, you know they are big people. 6"3", 6'5", 250 lb, 280 lbs of solid steel, and they run into eachother at speeds of 70 miles per hour. Why? to get the football over the goal line. How" They devise plans to get it done. End runs, handoffs, passes, bombs, they planned it all and practiced it all come game day. Take away the goalposts, and you know what you have? A bunch of big guys with their hands in their pockets wondering what they are supposed to do. You have to identify what you want, where you want to be, how you want things to look, and then develop the plans and systems and know the routes you will take to make it happen. Of course, thats only part one. I learned how important it is to keep looking at the plan, keep working it and on it, keep monitoring what works, what doesnt, what can be improved and what needs to be re-evaluated. Plans, once made, are work in progress until you throw them away for the new plan, or unless you achieve them in their entirety (if that is the end game), in which case you better make a new plan or you're gonna be one real bored successful person. Good Luck and have a great 2011!!