May 1, 2012

Create Your Business Plan In A Time Machine

By Paul Bieber

So, you are trying to set your plans for the next couple of years.  After all, that’s what an entrepreneur does.  You have to manage for today, tomorrow, and next year, too.  For the moment, forget about the unpredictables.  Those will happen anyway.  Here’s a great trick to set your plans.

Get a pad of paper and write out the answers to these questions as if it is May 1, 2014.  Answer these questions defining where you want your glass business to be two years from now.

  • What is your customer base?  Commercial, Residential, Industrial, Auto?  What is the percentage of each?
  • Who are your customers?  Big, small, governments, businesses, homeowners?
  • How will you be bringing new customers to your business?  What will your showroom look like?
  • What changes does your web site need?  Do you have a web site? A Facebook page?
  • Write down five things your customers will say about your business.
  • Write down five things your vendors will say about you.
  • Write down three things a blogger for US Glass will say about you.
  • What is your most important product group?
  • What products won’t you be carrying this year?
  • How many employees do you have?  Will they say good things about you?  What will they be griping about?
  • How many managers will you need?  How are you going to find and train them?
  • How will you measure your success?  Percentage of profit, dollars of profit, your take home dollars?
  • Will you measure your success in dollars?  Or will it be pride or community accolades?

Now, this isn’t easy.  It takes some serious thought.  Once you know where you want to be in two years, and which of these questions is the most important to you, then set about creating a specific plan to get there.  Things may change, but if you have a path to start on, you won’t get lost.  What do you have to start working on to get to these targets?  They won’t happen by divine interference.  Start now, set the plans into motion to achieve your goals.

Good luck.

PS.  Just for fun now, do this same program for your favorite ball team.  Lyle has already written his out for the White Sox and emailed it to the home office!