To start, every business, including financial advisors and insurance agents should have a business plan to start their business. The components of a business plan should include:
1. Company/Business overview
2. Vision, Mission, Values
3. Leadership Structure
4. Marketing Campaign
6. Financial Projections
7. Ideal Customers
Once you get these component done in a coherent plan, then you need to work on your execution and how one will go about it. This should be a living document and should be updated annually but the annual updates are a little different. Figuring out where you stand and where you want to go will help you have a clear plan of attack of how to move forward. This is the next step in moving a business forward. DO businesses grow and survive without a plan, yes, and ones with a plan can fail. However the chances of failing with a plan or succeeding without a plan are a lot lower than succeeding with a plan or failing without a plan. The concerns here though are do you have the right plan and are you focusing on the right things.
When doing the annual plan, paying very close attention to how one is going to do things and execute is important. Also you need to pay attention to the financial projections form your first plan, these need to be updated annually with actuals and new projections, and then connect them with your annual numbers.
Business plans can be elaborate or simple, but they need to be detailed. When working with people developing their plans I notice they are missing clarity on many ideas especially the financial and the marketing sections. It is best to be objective when one does this and not get emotional. The difficulty here is when doing these plans, whether it be annual or a formal comprehensive one, which you take your emotions out of it and focus more on an objective point of view. This is an extremely tough thing to do as we all want to be invested in what we do and who we are. The best way to do this is too have someone else do your planning for you. Whether you are running a department in a business or your own business, doing your own planning you get caught up with your emotions. Setting things outside of that and bringing in someone who can ask the objective questions will help you plan these out and put together a more accurate plan.
Whether you are creating, building, or maintaining a business everyone needs a business plan. What are your goals that you are trying to achieve? Do your employees and your clients know what you are stand for and what you are trying to accomplish? One needs to put things together annually in a formal way. The best way to do this is through a third party. Just like the old saying goes “Only a fool would have himself as a lawyer” the same comes to doing your own business plan. Each year I have someone do mine and we sit down and discuss. Have you done yours yet?
Once the plan is created it shouldn’t live in a desk drawer. You should be using the document weekly and having formal review meetings monthly. Tracking progress and identifying weaknesses in the plan and then figuring out changes to these plans will be helpful and will help make sure you hit the goals you set out to accomplish. What steps do you take to accomplish your goals and your plan?
Rodney Mogen, is the president of solveurpuzzles, a business focused company. Helping financial advisors and insurance agents solve their case troubles and issues. Rodney is also a small business advisor focused on developing financial strategies for small business owners and helping them develop their own strategy and ideas to grow, sell, develop the way they want. He is focused on creating proper financial strategies for Advisors and business owners to assist them in their day to day duties by solving their financial puzzles.