No matter what you want to farm with, it’s best to start with a written ‘vision statement’ and then draw up a ‘plan of action’.
These are not the same as a ‘business plan’ you’ll need to show a bank if you want a loan. They are written for yourself, so you don’t need to use fancy language.
In fact, it’s best to keep the wording clear and simple. This is the spark that will set your energy on fire, and it will be invaluable in helping you to motivate yourself. Of course, much grinding work will follow. But now you’ll have something to guide you. Once you’re clear on what you want out of your business, you’ll be amazed at the energy and motivation it unleashes in you and those around you.
To prepare an action plan, draw four columns:
- Head the first column ‘What?’ and under it describe in clear, concise language the enterprise you’re aiming for – or where you want to take your existing business.
- The second column should be headed ‘By when’. Here you need a date by which the job must be completed. Remember, there is always another job that has to be completed before you tackle your main task! And keep in mind that most tasks take twice as long as planned. Also, don’t forget, these strategic jobs have to be done in addition to your day-to-day business. Estimate the time needed to do the job, add some time, add more, and maybe the deadline will be met.
- ‘By whom’ is the third column. Here you put the name of the person responsible for doing the job.
- Head the fourth column ‘Assisted by’ and write down the names of the people who need to assist the responsible person.
Some tasks won’t be completed on time. Some will turn out to be unnecessary. And some will be completed before the deadline. Also, you may need to add extra tasks. All this is normal – your action plan is a process, not a once-off event, and will need regular updating. Follow the discipline of preparing a vision statement and action plan, and, as I said earlier, you’ll be amazed at how effective it is.