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Five Strategies for Creating Your 2011 Business Plan

Have you created your written 2011 business plan?

Allyson Lewis, 12/23/2010

Each New Year gives you the opportunity to outline a future reality and create concrete plans for who you want to be and what you want to accomplish over the next 12 months. There is a sense of excitement and anticipation that motivates new resolutions and generates new found energy.

On Jan. 1, 2011, we all start off at the same place in life. But, by Dec. 31, 2011 each of our lives will take a different path. We all have the same opportunities, we will all face the same economy, but each one of you reading this article will end the year as a different person. Who will you choose to be? What will you choose to learn? How can your life be different?

By creating a written plan of action, you significantly increase the odds of knowing what you want to accomplish and how you plan to get there. Here are five must know strategies for creating your 2011 written business plan:

Strategy #1: Know what you want to accomplish--clarify, clarify, clarify.
Every plan must begin with a destination in mind. The more clearly you can see who you'd like to be and what you would like to accomplish, the more likely you will be to reach your goals. In the financial services industry there are several ways to measure success: revenues, new accounts, net new assets and client satisfaction are just a few. And equally important, financial advisors across the country are seeking to discover personal fulfillment and meaning in their daily work.

Therefore, look out 12 months from now to Dec. 31, 2011, and decide what accomplishments and actions will make this New Year a success for you.

Strategy #2: Think of 2011 as precious real estate.
Time is one of your most valuable commodities. If you live an average life span, each New Year represents one eightieth of your life. Your time is much like real estate in that it is limited and there are very specific boundaries which frame each New Year. Think of 2011 is a valuable piece of real estate; now is the time to decide how you will develop the next 365 days. How much time will you spend at work? How much time will you spend with your family? How much time will you spend in other areas of your life? Time is very limited and how you spend the minutes of your day become the life you experience.

Draw a single square on a large piece of paper representing 2011. Inside that square, write down the largest foundational projects and tasks you want to accomplish during the next 12 months. From here, outline what you would like to accomplish each month and place those items on a written 2011 calendar.

With planning and time management you must define which projects and activities are the most important to creating the life you want to live. Then, you must prioritize which of these activities you will focus your attention on first. Make an emotional commitment to accomplish each of these foundational items.

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