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Successful Startup: Craft Your Plan for Business Success

By Lindaluke @coachlindaluke

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Once you are clear about the vision you have for your new business and what you want to create, it is time to create a strategic plan for making it happen.

Start with the end in mind (your vision) and reverse engineer what it will take to get you there.  At this stage in your startup planning you will want to look at both strategies and timelines that help you reach your target vision.

  1. Get clear about your goals – make a list of goals that will support your vision. Make sure that your goals are in clear and positive language.  Write each one as if it is happening right now, by starting with the words, “I am” or “We are”.  Add dates or timelines to keep you on track.  And, make sure that your goals are at least 50% believable to prevent self-sabotage or fear from holding you back.  You may choose to have your goals organized with categories around things like marketing, sales, products, classes, speeches, customer care, etc.
  2. Brainstorm ideas– you probably already have some ideas of what you will do and how you will reach your goals, but I encourage you to allow time for wild and crazy brainstorming. Write down everything that comes to mind, even if it feels silly or impossible.  Freeing up your mind this way allows ideas to flow and sometimes the ones you might push aside at first can be true inspiration or bridge the way to something even more amazing.
  3. Choose your priority goals and projects – at this point you likely have a long list of goals and an even longer list of ideas. It’s time to scale them down and focus on priorities.  Which goals and ideas will move you forward the quickest?  Which will have the greatest impact on your success?  I usually recommend choosing the top three to focus on, but in a startup situation you may want a few more.
  4. Create an action plan with micro steps – for each priority goal or project you choose, write at least the first 5 action steps you will take. Keep the steps very small so that they can be accomplished quickly and you can establish a pattern of success that will keep you motivated.
  5. Set up a goal supporting system – the last step in the planning phase of your new business is to set up systems that will keep your goals and projects organized and support you in moving forward. If you don’t already have a strategy for this, a simple Word doc, spreadsheet, handwritten list, or custom app will usually work well.  Choose whatever will work best for you.  This system will be an important part of your success.

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