By Craig Witt
“Everyone has a plan – until they get punched in the face.”
What a great quote from the controversial boxer Mike Tyson. Although maybe not the most eloquent speaker, this simple phrase is spot on.
We are in the final quarter of 2012 and another year is drawing to a close. So many of us talk about how we are going to do things differently next year, making plans and setting verbal goals that will take us to the success level we all desire.
Did you know 92 percent of New Year’s resolutions are NOT kept? How many do you think follow their business plan? Better yet a bigger question would be, how many professionals make a business plan to follow?
Business plans are like the weather, changing constantly. What does that mean? and if they change, why put the time into creating one anyway!? I can see your logic and your frustration with this dilemma, so here are some thoughts on business planning.
“Bite Size” Real Estate Business Plans
First of all, let’s answer the well-known phrase of “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” I think you need to look at a business plan in two ways. First, setting goals to achieve for the next 12 months that is measured and evaluated at the end of the year. Second and more importantly, setting reasonable, reachable goals that can be measured in “bite size” pieces.
Take the quarterly plan that is part and parcel of any good business plan and reduce it further to a six-week action plan, and make it integral to the overall 12-month plan. This will allow you to have a long-range goal to shoot for, that is measurable by the activities and milestones you achieve throughout the year. Think micro and macro.
I also think effective business planning should include historical data, along with future forecasting. Take what you know, add what you have researched for the future of our industry including trends, growth and economical factors, and make your best guess to how your plan can adapt to what’s coming in the next year. Keep in mind this should be considered a moving target that is bound to change; this is a good thing, because it helps you measure the changes for your next plan!
Discipline and Thinking Outside the Box
“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment,” Jim Rohm once said. Without discipline, you cannot achieve your goals in your personal or professional life, simple as that. Saying it will be done is only part of the equation; we all know it takes action to see it done.
Really want to take it up a notch? Do something crazy and find an accountability coach, unless the thought of being held accountable scares you. Sometimes we just need to get out of our own way and admit we all need a trusted advisor that has our best interest in mind. I happen to know a brand (EXIT Realty) that exemplifies this premise, so much so that it built-in the accountability component right into their business model!
Prepare your Business Plan now and submit it to your broker as a sign of the commitment to your personal career and your company’s success. Until it is done, you have unfinished business.
Make it a great month.
Craig Witt, is the president of the North Central Division of EXIT Realty Corp, which includes Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.