I’m supposed to be in Africa.
I woke up on Tuesday, November 30, just six hours before my first of three flights would be departing. I had inexplicable anxiety. I wasn’t well. I went to the bathroom and just sat. For 30 minutes, I debated. I prayed. And then I started to cry. What was happening?
I decided to postpone. Two days prior, the news of a coronavirus variant, referred to as Omicron, had been announced. The U.S. had cut off travel to seven South African countries. Not where I was headed, but concerning nonetheless. A week later, other countries, including Tanzania, my destination, had been added. I would have been stuck on the other side of the world!
So what does any of that have to do with business planning?
The Best-Laid Plans… and a PLAN B
The best time to business plan for next year? It’s already passed. So now what? Well, the second best time to plan is RIGHT NOW. It’s never too late for planning. And it’s a critical part of ensuring you achieve the goals you’re dreaming about. Where do you start?
I won’t pretend that business planning is easy. However, it IS simple.
Let me give you the five key areas to consider:
- Identity. This includes Vision, Mission, Core Values, Guiding Principles, and Purpose. These five come together to form the foundation on which you build a meaningful business.
- Financial Plan. Simply put, your numbers. Production: this includes sales volume, business by source, and gross commission income. Budget: this declares cost of goods sold and business expenses based on your projected gross, and thus net income.
- Marketing Plan. In real estate, that means four key areas: Past clients/sphere of influence; Brand awareness; Listing marketing; and New Business generation. What, when, and how need to be answered for each of these.
- Team Building. Even a “solo agent” has a team. So first, think Leverage. When, What, and How do you offload some of the workload you’re carrying? Vendor colleagues, virtual assistants, part- or full-time staff, sales agents? After those questions are answered, think Quality. That includes training, accountability, and culture.
- Systems. Anything that you do more than once needs a system; consider systems in all three of the following areas: Transactional, Follow-up, and Internal Operations. What needs added, improved, or discontinued?
Now, once you have gone through all those areas, it’s time to go back through and consider your Plan B. All sorts of things could happen to derail your well-laid-out plan. Weather, world crises, market shifts, life events… these and other unexpected occurrences might force you to make adjustments. It’s called Contingency Planning, and it’s an important next stage to effective business planning.
Which brings me to Africa. Tanzania, to be specific. Many of you know I started a charity to help the children of our beloved Mt. Kilimanjaro crew members and their fellow workers. (Visit here if you want to know more or get involved.) Months of planning went into this trip. Flights and lodging are the easy part. Transportation is a little trickier but still fairly easily solved.
Much more involved: Could we possibly gather all, or most, of the now-39 sponsored students and their families? If you know me, you understand how much getting to meet and hug all those wonderful people would be for my heart and soul. And by gosh, by the grace of God and the planning of two very compassionate and reliable “brothers” of mine there in Tanzania, we had it figured out. Until I postponed.
So I’m in process of forming a Plan B, which looks much like Plan A, on different dates, but with some changes. For example, the children were all at the end of their school year in December. Easier to get them together, naturally. The trip will now (hopefully) be centered around a holiday or break when there are extra days off from school. Flights can be rescheduled. Hotels can be re-booked. Coronavirus, well, we wait a bit and see what unfolds. I’m still going to Africa. Count on it.
No matter what life throws your way, don’t quit. Get up. Get going.
And if you’re stalled out with business planning, ASK FOR HELP. This is what coaches are for! Email me or call 303.682.1072 to schedule a 15-minute consult to get your plan for 2022 in place.
Helping real estate professionals improve their business and personal lives is my focus. I realize the importance of not only sharpening the saw on real estate business techniques and strategies, but also of finding the ultimate direction for YOUR best life.