Aim High for 2015 With a Living Business Plan

Filed under: Business Strategies , Tags: , — Author: Caron Golden , January 5, 2015

Motivational speak Zig Ziglar is often quoted as saying, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” Operating a business without a business plan as your road map is a form of aiming at nothing–and is a guaranteed scenario for disaster.

The opportunity to redirect, redefine, and refresh your business plan at the start of each new year is an important process that can set you in the direction you choose to pursue with self-set attainable markers to chart your progress. Establishing it when you launched your business isn’t enough. Your business plan is a living document that must be regularly updated to reflect where you are and where you want to go. Making an appointment with yourself to review and bring it up to date is a date with your destiny that clarifies your plans and goals.

And they don’t have to be strictly business goals, although things do tend to circle back to the business. What you include in your plan can help you determine if the business is meeting your needs–all your needs. Is it both sustaining you financially and supporting you spiritually so you can spend the time you want with family, friends, and your community? Are you learning new skills that help your business grow or help you blossom as a person? Are you shedding things that are no longer important to you? Have your priorities changed over the course of a year? Remember, this career path as a personal chef is designed to promote your own expertise and your specific business and lifestyle requirements.

Assuming you’ve addressed the basics–committing to writing your strengths, skills, and time; a realistic initial sales forecast; and your business model/s for generating revenues–you can review other critical business issues over time, such as changing markets and revised sales forecasts. Here’s where you include potential new revenue streams like catering events or teaching classes. It’s where you evaluate your current client base and determine if it’s still viable or needs revisiting. It shows you where you need to spend time marketing and identify the best approaches for doing so.

Yet another issue to revisit in your business plan is how well set you are for dealing with new, unexpected responsibilities. Perhaps you’re going to be a new parent. Perhaps your parents need your help as a caregiver. Perhaps you’re getting married or divorced or are buying a new home. Does your business plan reflect the changes that are inevitably taking place in your life?

Revising and updating your business plan is a great way to dedicate time to thinking about what you want to achieve in the coming year and what you want your life to be truly is filled with. Putting your goals and dreams down in a document gives it a solidity and reference point that just mulling it over in the middle of the night lacks. And be sure to set several goals instead of one singular grand goal. You don’t just want to increase revenues by 10 percent. Perhaps you also want to include learning a new skill like public speaking or writing a blog or improving your food photography. Perhaps it’s something as basic as developing a half dozen new sauces and a killer chicken stock. With several goals, you can celebrate your accomplishments throughout the year. (Because you are going to return to your business plan throughout the year to check on your progress, right?)

Taking the time to update your living business plan enables you to deal with evolving circumstances. And that gives you power. It allows you to deal with change effectively and immediately, without panic or anxiety. It allows you to bite off small chunks of accomplishments while working toward the greater goals of the year. It gives you something to strive for and to measure achievements by. It’s a New Year’s gift you give yourself both in serenity and helping you attain your ambitions.

And, remember, if you find yourself stuck in creating or updating your business plan, get in touch! That’s what we’re here for!

Have you begun to assess and update your business plan? If not, what’s holding you back? What are some of the new goals you’re identifying for 2015?

Not an APPCA member? Now’s the perfect time to join! Go to personalchef.com to learn about all the benefits that come with membership.

 

 

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Caron Golden

About 

Founder of premier organization of personal chefs inspires students to follow their dreams of culinary entrepreneurship.

Candy Wallace, executive director of the American Personal & Private Chef Association (APPCA), today was recognized by Sullivan University’s National Center for Hospitality Studies as its 33rd Distinguished Guest Chef.

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