Tip Tuesday: Ace your 2018 business plan

Business plans are an essential component to keeping your team and goals on the right track throughout the course of the year. Whether you have an already-drafted business plan ready to-go or if you still haven’t gotten to it yet, a one-page business plan can be the perfect reference to help your business stay on track.

When it comes to business planning, the more extensive the plan, the harder it is to reference over the course of the year—making it easier to lose sight of your priorities and goals. To help you achieve MSP success, this Tip Tuesday highlights the essential components to help you achieve your goals and priorities for the coming year. In a recent blog post Gary Pica, the owner of TruMethods and a pioneer in the managed service field, shared this advice:

“The key to achieving better results in business is to make your plan based on your current situation, not the future when you are hoping things will be different. The right business planning process will allow you to make progress toward your goals today!”

For more of Gary’s tips on how to create a 2018 business plan, read the post or watch the webinar replay.

Preparing your MSP for 2018 success

Brian Tracy, a motivational speaker, once said, “People with clear, written goals, accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them could ever imagine.” To achieve business success for your MSP this year, here are three things you can do to develop your 2018 business plan and hold your team accountable in the coming months:

1. Develop your vision and goals.

Meet with the key players on your MSP team, and look back at the previous year. What are some areas you’d like to improve? What goals do you have in the coming year, two years, or three years? What improvements can you make to achieve these goals?

To be successful in developing your business plan, you need to understand what business challenges you face and what you can do to overcome them. You also need to have a solid vision for the future. For example, if you have a high churn rate and lose three customers a month but bring on five new customers a month, there might be a change you can make to your processes to learn why this is happening. Once you’ve identified the problem, you can proactively take steps to reduce your churn rate moving forward, which can yield higher profits and happier customers.

To learn how to identify your business strengths and weaknesses as well as your key business metrics, check out a recent post on Smarter MSP: How do I create a 2018 business plan?

2. Document and share your plan with the entire team.

Whether you’re a team of two or a team of 200, every individual is a stakeholder in your 2018 business success. This includes your receptionist, interns, sales team, and your technicians—anyone who receives a paycheck on your roster can help your MSP business soar to new heights. Word of mouth between friends, helpful customer service, and the friendliness of your staff can go a long way with your SMB customers, so don’t count any of your team members out!

After you develop your one-page business plan, share your goals and vision with the entire team. Make your 2018 business plan a team priority and try to highlight how each team member is an important piece to your plan. When this is done effectively, it can encourage your team to rally around the same cause, and it can spark new ideas on how you can achieve your business goals together.

If you already have an extensive business plan, consider revising it into a one-page document. This can help you effectively convey your message without bogging down your team with too many specifics. To get started, download our free one-page business plan.

3. Put your plan in action and reference it often.

Once you have a one-page business plan in place, it’s time to put your plan into action! Take small daily actions to achieve your business goals. Before you know it, your goals will be within reach. Every month or every quarter, review your one-page business plan to ensure you’re still on the right path.

By routinely referring to your one-page plan, you can assess your progress and make small tweaks to improve your results. For example, one of your goals may have been to increase productivity at your MSP business. However, after looking back at the month, you realized that your endpoints produced more tickets. By assessing this early on, you might see that you can run an update or change a rule to eliminate extra tickets.

For more tips on how to successfully implement your business plan in 2018, watch our webinar replay with Gary Pica. This can help you create an effective plan and provide you with advice on how to stay on top of your business goals and objectives.

The new year might already be underway but it’s not too late to develop your 2018 business plan. By creating a simple one-page plan, you can get your whole team on board with an achievable business plan. 

Photo:  Pressmaster / Shutterstock.

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