If you are thinking “Gee, I’ll make 2014 great with a masterful business plan” — take a couple deep breathes and get real.  For years I’ve been an advocate TakeOuttheTrashof a One Page Business Plan by Jim Horan, which is simply Vision–Mission–Core Values–Goals–Projects and helps people get the “must do work” on to one page that is SMART goal driven.   A recent book I read is the  One Hour Business Plan(tm) and, yes, it took me more than an hour to read so that can’t be counted in the planning time.  The basis of this book was to know:

  1. What you are selling,
  2. Who are you selling it to,
  3. Who are your competitors ,
  4. How much money will it take, and
  5. What is next?

Now, add to the mix Minda Zetlin’s article in Inc. Business Plans Are a Waste of Time. and Here’s What to do Instead and you can either get very confused or say – Yup, I’m going to do something” and grab your calendar device and book-it!  With six weeks till January 1, 2014, if we each spent just one hour each week being proactive for what 2014 will look like, we may be mildly amazed at the results. 

I am a strong advocate of having a plan – but instead of spending hours and hours creating a plan that might garner you an “A” in school, think about the basics and create a plan that answers the simple questions:

  • What are we creating (vision)?
  • Why are we creating this (mission)?
  • Who are we (core values)?
  • Where are we going (goals)?
  • How will we get there (projects)?

Simple and elegant are often the hallmark of a workable plan – schedule your time today!