I have written a lot of articles in my career on planning ... here is one to kick you in the **** and get you going:
Now that the summer selling season has ended, you may be looking at your earnings so far this year and feeling a little short. But instead of crying over spilt milk, think about how you are going to change your business plan for next year. What's that ... you don't have a business plan? How do you know what marketing items worked and which ones didn't? How are you going to calculate the impact on profitability of the concessions you made? Basically, how are you going to be able to tell what changed? What is the right solution?
The process of putting together a business plan requires you to: focus, clarify, define and account. A well-designed business plan allows you to change assumptions to see the impact they have on your business. Most importantly, a well-designed realty business plan supplies you with a plan of action.
"Focus" is the first part and that's all about the big picture. Ask yourself what revenue you need to generate from your real estate business to cover your living and lifestyle needs? To do this you should first create a personal budget identifying what your annual income needs will be for 2008. Inside your business plan this personal budget becomes the focus of your business. As simple as it sounds, real estate is still a business and you need to make sure that your business will generate enough revenue to cover all your business expenses and your living and lifestyle needs.
"Clarifying" your Focus comes next - it's fairly simple. Determine how many transactions you need to close to pay all your business expenses and your living and lifestyle needs. You want to be able to clearly state your business plan for 2007 as simply as saying; "I need to close this many transactions to meet my income goal."
"Defining" your business follows Clarifying. Once you have the "Focus" of your business (your income) and you have Clarified that Focus (determined the required number of closed transactions), you need to "Define" how you are going to accomplish your goal. What are your sources of business? List where you want to generate business in 2007 and then determine the amount of effort it will take to get business from those areas. For example: You plan to work "expired listings" and you estimate that you will need to contact 30 expired listings in order to get one appointment, and that for every three appointments you will get one Listing Agreement. The simple math dictates you need to contact 90 expired listings to get one potential closed transaction. The next question you need to ask - is this reasonable in your market area?
To properly define your business, you should go through the above process for every source that you think will produce business for you in 2008. This will give you a To-Do list for your business, which is essentially a business plan.
"Accountability" is the last part of creating your business plan. How do you make sure that you are doing what you should be doing each and every week? We spend so much time in this business putting out fires that we often fail to continue to do the activities that produced us the leads in the first place. Your business plan should provide a method of reminding you of the weekly activities you defined as being necessary to meet your income goal. As you track your activities, you will develop knowledge of what activities really work given your current market conditions as well as those that don't.
A well-designed business plan will allow you the flexibility to make changes throughout the year and update your required weekly activities. Think about this logically, why put effort into things that do not produce optimal results?
Finally, you cannot create solutions on the back of a napkin; it will require a little technology. CreateAPlan is a business-planning tool that addresses all of the above-mentioned requirements plus many more features that will help analyze your business. visit http://www.createaplan.com/.