The Single Sheet Of Paper That Can Build Your Dream Business
Imagine you decide to build your dream house.
You think about how wonderful it is going to be living in your beautiful new home. You imagine how luxurious it is going to feel to have all that space and luxury.
You think about how envious your friends will be when you invite them over for parties at your new mansion.
Eager to get started, you jump into your car and drive down to neighborhood Home Depot.
You didn’t bring a list but it is easy enough to know what goes into a house. You walk up and down the aisles stacking items on your flat cart. Plywood, nails, shingles, windows, doors, pipes, wire, carpet and a host of other items get added to the cart.
After checking out, you load it all into the convenient rental truck and drive it out to the site you have chosen for your new home.
Now that you have all the material, you start building.
You carefully lay some cinderblocks for a foundation. Next you add the exterior walls.
It looks like rain is coming you so hastily grab your shingles and build a roof to cover the interior.
The next day you work through the pile of materials to assemble your home.
After hours and hours of heavy labor, you step back to admire your work.
Crap! You suddenly realize you haven’t build anything resembling the 5-bedroom dream house you intended.
Instead, it looks more like a rambling shack.
So the next day, you head back to Home Depot, buy more materials and start adding onto the home. A bedroom here, a bathroom there.
Every day you add onto the home, desperately pouring your heart and wallet into it.
Are you starting to see how this process is never going to become the mansion you pictured in your mind?
Of course, you would never attempt to build your dream home using this method.
So why would you attempt to build your dream business this way?
Sadly, most entrepreneurs do just that.
They jump into building a company with just a vague picture in their mind of what they want.
They get up every day and hard on building their business, but what they end up with is a cobbled together mass of parts that is far from their dream.
If you were going to build a dream house, you would use a blueprint, right? With a good plan, even workers who don’t share a common language can create a masterpiece.
What if you had a blueprint for building your company?
What could you accomplish with a detailed plan of what and how to build your dream company?
A company-building blueprint is often called a strategic plan. It is a document that spells out clearly what you are building and in what order to assemble the parts.
A good plan is simple enough that anyone can use it and detailed enough that it gets the job done.
I like to use a one-page plan for the basic blueprint and two other single pages as “punch lists” to fill in the details.
The basic blueprint consists of four key parts:
This is the base of your company, the solid structure that underlies everything else you build and accomplish. The foundation consists of your Core Values and your Vision for what you ultimately desire.
Targets and Goals
Since your vision is likely very big, you will choose milestones give you more concrete and achievable steps along the path to your vision. You will set a few long-term (3-5 year) targets and a few short-term (1-year) goals.
Areas of Focus
These are the key areas of your business that must change in the next year if you are going to hit your goals. Think about where you need to invest your time, money and other resources so your goals will get done.
Change can be hard so you want to add something to your plan that keeps you on track and excited through the change. Having a short list of key metrics to ensure you are on pace for your goals is one of the drivers. An annual theme can also keep you motivated and fired up in the face of challenges and adversity.
Once you have your basic blueprint laid out, you can then start breaking it down into “punch lists” so you can get everything done on time and on budget.
Start by taking your areas of focus and breaking them into quarterly projects. A quarter is enough time to get big change done but not so long that you get distracted or defeated.
Finally, take each quarterly project and break it into discreet tasks that need to be done to accomplish the project. This becomes your “punch list” that gets done each week to keep you on target for hitting your goals. The great thing about a punch list is that you can hand parts of it off to other people to do, just like a job foreman hands off work to plumbers, electricians and carpenters on a house site.
See a one-page plan in action…you can download the one-page blueprint. This is a real-life plan from one of our clients. This plan yielded a 65% increase in sales in one year.