Yeah, yeah, I know, I know. I’m supposed to be thinking about 2017. Charting a course. Setting direction. Yada yada.

But business planning sucks.

It takes too much time. It gets too finicky and complicated – especially the numbers. And worst of all, business planning never turns out the way I planned. So why bother?

Yup. I agree with everything you just said. Business planning IS awful. In fact, there’s only one thing worse than planning. And that’s NOT planning.

I think I have a solution. Let’s do a 10/10/10 business plan. 10 minutes today. 10 tomorrow. And 10 the day after that. I guarantee you’ll have a plan.

It may not be perfect. But no plan is.

It won’t be long. But who wants a long plan?

It WILL show your clear priorities, and you WILL be able to use it every day.

Guaranteed.

‘Kay? Let’s do it!

Take 10 minutes and write 2 sentences about your company’s aspiration (use this worksheet if you like).

Yeah, it’s only two sentences, but take your time and use the whole 10 minutes. It’s important to get the RIGHT two sentences!

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Where do we want our company to be in 5 or 10 years?
  • Who do we serve, and why do we serve them?
  • What does our customer’s success look like? How can we help them achieve it?

Make your two sentences inspirational. Uplifting. Write them so that your staff and customers can connect to them emotionally. It isn’t about money or numbers, it’s about something greater than ourselves and the day-to-day activities we do.

Imagine you’re with a class of sixth-graders. Their teacher just asked you, “What is your business trying to achieve?” Answer simply and authentically.

A bookkeeper might say, “We love helping small businesses succeed. We take their numbers and turn them into awesome information. We want our clients to unhesitatingly recommend us to other growing businesses.” Yeah. I know. Three sentences. Believe me, it’s fine… 🙂

What about a sheet metal manufacturer? “We want to be Vancouver Island’s most innovative sheet metal manufacturer. If a business problem can be solved with sheet metal, we want to be there.”

A carpenter. “I love making people’s homes warmer and cozier by adding wood finishes and furniture. When Victoria homeowners think of renovating, I want them to think of me.”

Need a hand getting started? Write “We want to become…” and see what shows up on the page.

You’ve got 10 minutes. Print out this worksheet, and I’ll see you tomorrow for Step 2.