Make a Plan

by Bill Gough, Insurance Hall of Fame Agent

I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacations with better care than they plan their lives. Perhaps that is because escape is easier than change. If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they may have planned for you? Not much.

The reason why most people face the future with apprehension instead of anticipation is because they don't have it well designed. The same person who says that they don’t have time to plan is the same person who needs a plan the most. A plan helps you make the most of each minute of the day.

Make a plan for you and your business. And do it today. Here’s how to create a plan that’s fool proof:

  1. Make Sure Your Goals Are SMART. These goals give you clarity and a deadline for achieving them. If you aren’t familiar with SMART goals:
  2. a. Specific: Your goal is clearly defined. “I want to make more money,” is vague. “I want to make $10,000 per month, “ is specific.

    b. Measurable: You need to quantify your goal so you know you achieved it. This is where being specific helps. What constitutes “more” in more money? A specific dollar amount is measurable.

    c. Attainable: Set goals that make you stretch and challenge yourself, but don’t set yourself up for frustration and failure if your goal is impossible.

    d. Relevant: Your goals should fit within your ultimate plans in life.

    e. Time: You’ve set a date by which your goal will be achieved.

  3. Determine What Needs to Happen. Get specific on what it takes to reach your mini and big goals within a time frame. To make $10,000 a month, you need to get more clients. You will need to determine how many clients to make $5,000 and $10,000 per month in your business. How many prospects and pitches will need to be made to generate your sale.
  4. Decide What Actions Are Required. If you need to talk to 10 people to make two sales, what actions do you need to take to find 10 people? If you need to have 100 leads to find 10 people to talk to, what actions will it take to find 100 leads? These tasks involve marketing but it also involves providing a quality product or service to keep your clients happy so that will keep coming back and refer new prospects.
  5. Schedule Your Actions. You should have a list of tasks that need to be completed to reach your goal. Put these to use by making a daily plan (task list). These are the tasks you will do each day to generate prospects and leads and the tasks to help you create and deliver your product or service.
  6. ALWAYS Follow Through. Follow your schedule. Do the daily tasks you’ve assigned yourself. Stay motivated. People don’t achieve their goals because they don’t do the work on a consistent basis. Without being consistent, your plan doesn’t fail, you simply quit.

The true test of whether or not you’ll succeed in your small business is not only by having a good plan, but working your plan. Get excited about your goals, build in ways to celebrate the small success and always keep your eye on the prize!