Most businesses start with a dream and high hopes – but that’s where it ends. Even the most innovative companies can wind up closing their doors because they didn’t have a solid action plan to get them through the never-ending stages of business growth.
But why exactly do you need an action plan?
Well, when you take the time to make a plan for your new venture, you can then follow the plan step by step, continue to focus on your business timeline, and ultimately tasks will run much more smoothly for you, your customers, and anyone you hire along the way.
Related post: Project and Time Management Software
Here are tips for creating a compelling action plan:
You have a dream and a vision – that’s excellent! But where is your business heading down the line? Where do you see your business in one year? Two years? Five?
You have to focus on a streamlined path when you first start your business; otherwise, you’ll probably find that your business is all over the place, with absolutely nothing getting done on time because you’re stressed out.
Take the time to visualize your path.
Put It in Writing
When you first start your business, it is crucial to put each step down in writing. Without this piece of the puzzle, things can get messy real quick!
Having an action plan “in your head” or simply telling others about it doesn’t come close to putting it down in writing.
Measure Your Goals regularly
You’ll want to check up on your progress continuously. When you do this, you’re able to match those fantastic goals you set against where you are at the moment.
If your goals are off-track, that’s perfectly normal, but IT IS time to re-evaluate so you can get back on target.
Break Down Bigger Projects into More Manageable Ones
Is there a massive project within your action plan?
Well, be sure to break that large project down into more manageable ones, so you’ll be able to get the whole job done without feeling overwhelmed.
Overwhelm can easily cause you to get off-track or even quit altogether.
You DO NOT have to do everything on your own!
Don’t be afraid to hand over some of your action plan tasks. If you’re not ready to hire someone to help you, ask the family to support (even the “haters” jump in to assist when you need them, LOL!) Or swap with other business owners who do the tasks you’d rather not.
Bartering is easier than you think. If you’re on Facebook, find a few business-related groups to join and contribute to a barter thread. Many groups allow this; you can start the conversation yourself if approved, and you’ll be amazed at how many responses you get.
If you’re facing a challenge in your business, chances are others are too, so don’t be afraid to ask.
Honestly, if you try to do everything all on your own, chances are all those balls you’re juggling will come tumbling down sooner rather than later. Ouch!
Here are some tips for Creating an Online Business Timeline
Create a Timeline for Every Task
You may think it’s not necessary to create a timeline for each task, BUT, as any successful business owner will tell you, a schedule is essential for success. Creating a calendar will help you to manage your time and your business, and remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect or exact, just have a completion date or time written down.
Keep It Real
Another super important tip: Your timeline should have a manageable date attached to each task. If your deadline is too soon (can you really write ten blog posts in an hour?), then you may end up setting yourself up for failure.
Be realistic; it’s okay if you take longer than others to do something. It’s your vision, and it should march according to the beat of your drum. Plus, tasks will take less time the more you do them.
Differentiate Your Tasks
Set your short-term tasks apart from your long-term ones. For example, a short job would be to hire a contractor, and a long-term task could be to improve your social media status.
Stick to Your Timeline No Matter What
Own your timeline like a boss! You have to have principles in this area!
Make it a priority to stick with your timeline regardless of obstacles that cross your path; This is how you become successful.
Putting it all together
Building a business takes time, no matter what that YouTube video said. It takes grit and hard work, but we all have what it takes to succeed, so plan your end game and set manageable tasks to get you there.
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