10 things that make a successful business plan

10 things that make a successful business plan

A business plan is one of the most powerful tools you can use to help your business evolve and grow so you can achieve the outcomes you want. Financial Advisers know all too well, the power of planning – and see the impact of it every day with their clients achieving greater outcomes as a result of their foresight to make a plan. Indeed, if there’s ever been a better time for an adviser to take their own medicine and create a business plan, it’s now!

Your desired outcomes might be renovating your business to adapt to the new environment, business growth, improving your client experience, more profits, simplification, greater efficiency, or succession. No matter your vision, the key to success is to make a plan and then put that plan into action.

After all, as Benjamin Franklin so aptly said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”.

 

10 THINGS THAT MAKE A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS PLAN: 

 

1. Take the time to make one! 

Sounds obvious, right? We know all too often advisers get so caught up working IN the business they don’t set aside time to work ON the business. 

2. It’s connected to the greater purpose and vision of the business.  

Following the process we’ll share with you, you can create a Business Plan that isn’t just about achieving ‘more’ on a superficial level. Done well, your plan will be authentic and drive success in more areas than simply finances.

3. It’s completed after a diagnostic process. 

This process highlights the areas of your business that will require focus this year. So rather than having templated categories, the goals and actions of your plan will be specific and unique to what you want to work on from now moving forward. 

4. The whole team participates in creating the plan.

Meaning they’re engaged with it from the outset. The most effective plans are shared and understood by all staff in the business – everyone knows where they’re heading, what they’re responsible for, and that they’re along for the ride (as an active participant!).

5. It’s quantifiable.

‘Be more successful’ is a meaningless statement without context – what does success look like to you? Financial targets and also qualitative targets need to be measurable.

6. Each of the targets have corresponding activities. 

When the activities are completed, they will deliver the results you’re after.

7. The whole team reviews the plan regularly.

Regular reviews are important to monitor incremental achievements and tweak the plan when necessary, as well as to maintain the focus of where the business is heading. Even the most brilliant plan will not generate results if it is left on your hard drive and not regularly revisited.

8. Your achievements are celebrated.

Not necessarily just at the end of the year, but also throughout. Celebrating milestones, no matter how small, can help motivate you to achieve the big ones.

9. It’s easily accessible, and succinct. 

Your plan should capture the high level outcomes and strategies you actually have the capacity to implement – so it’s challenging, but absolutely achievable. You want a succinct picture of your targets, outcomes and projects, rather than a long wish-list of actions you’ll never be able to conquer.  

10. You use it! 

You’ve put the time and effort into creating a plan, so refer to it often and make it happen!

So what’s the process used to create effective plans that really work?

There are three key elements that are vitally important to help ensure that your plan is effective. If you start at the right place, your WHY, and clearly define WHAT you want to achieve and HOW you will get there, your Business Plan will hold meaning for you – and will be an effective blueprint to deliver the results you’re seeking in your business. 

How to create a Business Plan for advice businesses that actually works!

There are actually a few different types of Business Plans – those used to attract investors into a start-up business, those used to obtain finance from a bank, even those used to merge multiple businesses… the Business Plan template we have created is one that is designed to help you improve your business, and achieve more of what you want from it. 

We’re talking about a plan on a page – that’s right – a Business Plan on one page to provide real clarity on what you want to achieve and how you will achieve it…and importantly – to help you to celebrate your achievements. While you will have a 3, 5, 10 year vision for the longer-term picture of your business, this one-pager will be a tactical plan for what you’ll achieve in the next 12 months.

Introducing the Evolution Map – our one-page business plan template.

The Evolution Map summarises where your business is starting from at the beginning of the year, where you want to take it to in 12 months’ time, and the Strategic Directions you’ll take to get from A to B. On this page are also the activities you will complete between now and then that will help you to achieve those outcomes. Some activities are completed throughout the whole year (i.e. number of new clients, new enquiries, client reviews etc.), and the remaining projects are allocated to the quarters in which you will complete them.

The Evolution Map template and instructions are available to Evolve Alliance members for download in the Evolve Alliance portal here.

 

Not yet an Evolve Alliance member? Become a member today for access to:

  • Business Analysis tools – revisit your Business Success Wheel as often as you’d like.
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  • Video and audio ‘warts and all’ interviews with advisers and service providers.
  • Peer-to-peer online discussion forum.
  • An entire procedures manual template, including workflow processes and client communication templates across most processes in an advice business (new client onboarding, client reviews, referral management, advice implementation) – all fully customiseable to suit your business.
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Already doing all the work and feel like you’re getting nowhere? 

If you find that the activities you’re doing aren’t working, you don’t know how to get a different result, or you need extra support as you step outside your comfort zone, then it’s time to seek assistance from an awesome business coach. 

The first step is to book a FREE 30-Minute Discovery Call with one of our expert coaches, so we can learn more about your business and visions for success. 

BOOK YOUR FREE 30-MINUTE DISCOVERY CALL

Elixir Coaches
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We help advisors to evolve their business and thrive in the new landscape of financial advice by providing expert guidance from with deep knowledge and expertise in business and financial advice.