“You can’t build a house without a plan, so why build your career or business without one?”

On today’s Coachcast we look at the importance of planning your journey.

As we continue to work towards planning for a fabulous 2015 it’s time to start building our blueprint for success.

Over the past couple of weeks we looked at the some of theory behind setting our plans, we talked about getting clear on what we want, our big-picture goals and visions as well as understanding the reasons why.

So now that we know where we are headed we need to figure out how we are going to get there. That’s what we are digging into today. Building the roadmap for out future.

If we want to climb a mountain we need to plan our route, right? So why do so many people think that planning a business or career doesn’t take that kind of effort? I see it happen all the time. When I start working with a client and looking into their plans we find that things are often very open-ended and there is a lack of a solid plan. There are often goals set without much consideration on how to achieve them. You know what happens to these goals, you never reach them. Why? You didn’t layout how to get there.

[tweetthis]You can’t build a house without a plan, so why build your career or business without one?[/tweetthis]

Now we can start to tie things together and start making actionable plans to achieve our goals. hopefully you have completed the exercises we discussed previously and now have a clear set of trajectories for your business, career and self. Let’s start to make those things a reality.

Take your big-picture goals and start figuring out what it will take to get there. I think of this like a book outline. Your big-picture goals and vision will serve as the title. Now the plan will make up the book. Start with your title and start thinking about the chapters. What will each chapter be. If your goal is to achieve 10% profit margins in 2015 then the chapters are going to be the steps you will take to reach that goal. The paragraphs in each chapter are the individual goals that you will set to complete the chapter. It may look something like this:

Achieve 10% Profit Margins

  1. Introduction: We want to improve operations by retaining 10% or more profits to invest in the company
  2. Chapter 1: Chase the right projects that allow us to improve profit margins
    1. Evaluate each project before deciding to submit a proposal
    2. Chase projects that are in our key skill sets
    3. Increase our profit margins during estimating by 1%
  3. Chapter 2: Plan projects properly to maximize efficiency and protect profits
    1. Set up a detailed project planning process
    2. Establish project reporting requirements
    3. Evaluate projects regularly to proactively manage costs
  4. Chapter 3: Adopt a Profit First system
    1. Find an accountant that understand Profit First
    2. Establish the external bank accounts to hold profits
    3. Start taking profit % out of every payment
  5. Chapter 4: Evaluate and manage project expenses
    1. Establish proper budgeting procedures
    2. Monitor budgets
    3. Complete a comprehensive buyout
  6. Chapter 5: Evaluate and manage overhead expenses
    1. Review current costs
    2. Identify areas that need attention
    3. Establish plans to control and lower costs

You see how this works? Now from this basic outline you can start establishing goals to achieve each of your paragraphs. This is where you start getting into the details and building your roadmap.

You can look at this similar to the design process as well. In the beginning the client and the design team develop some schematic plans. These are your bid-picture goals. The next stage is design documents, this is where the schematics are further detailed into the basic components like steel framing, stucco finish, metal roofing, etc. The next step in the process is the construction drawings where you start getting into the details of how you will build it. How the steel will be connected, what the foundations will be and so on. So it would look like this:

Schematic Phase = Bid-Picture = your planned achievement

Design Phase = Steps = The steps you will take to reach your achievement

Construction Phase = Goals = Individual goals/achievements along the way the move you toward your steps

(A quick apology to all my A/Es and design teams out there, I am not meaning to make your processes seem this simple. I know there is a lot more that goes into the design process then the brief outline I did here.)

I hope this helps you understand how we are going to get from where we are today to reaching those aspirations we have for the future and you can see the importance of building a blueprint.

Take-Action Items:

  1. Start building your blueprint and establishing the steps for reaching your targets

  2. Break down those steps into actionable goals (we will get into writing those goals next Monday)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *