How To Write An Action Plan For A Business

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One of the 21 videos there is on exactly that--me walking a business owner through creating a one-page plan of action.

The action plan is one name for the portion of the business plan in which you account for business operations that weren't covered in the marketing and sales plans.

The types of operational issues that you'll face will vary based on the type of business you operate.

For example, a consultant who deals primarily in assisting customers with network communications isn't going to have an extensive manufacturing or inventory control plan.

Essentially, your action plan must be adaptable to the changing circumstances of your marketplace, but also heed the high cost of lost momentum and a frustrated team if you change your company's focus too frequently.

(Our business coaching clients' staff members tell us how dizzy they feel when the founder changes too many things too frequently.)The quarter is the perfect unit of time to bridge your big-picture goals--which probably have a two- to five-year timeline or longer--and your weekly planning and daily action.The categories are operational plans, management plans and contingency plans.An operations plan summarizes how you will create and deliver your product or service to your customers.We've learned from coaching hundreds of companies that in the rush of the day-to-day, you need to be able to take in your company action plan as a gestalt whole.If your plan is two or three pages (or, heaven forbid--14 pages! We coach our business clients to review their company's quarterly action plan each week.While it is easy to relate to production issues in a manufacturing or other process where goods are fabricated, grown, or otherwise produced, the concept is also applicable to other types of businesses.As a consultant you are engaged to help a company convert from a paper-based billing system to a computer-based system.Sure, you'll still have to take care of your company's day-to-day operational needs.But in your Focus Areas that quarter, you will invest a portion of your best resources, because you know that these are the areas that will really help you scale and develop your business.Your written criteria of success for each Focus Area give you a yardstick against which to measure progress as you go.Also, by laying out your criteria of success for each Focus Area, you'll have clear clues for what action steps you'll need to take over the quarter--most of your action steps will be obvious.


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