“The One Page Business Plan” for Financial Advisors
“The Cobbler’s son has no shoes.” ~anonymous
This famous quote speaks about the successful Cobbler makes shoes for everyone in the village except his own children. Sound like anyone you know? Perhaps the CPA files hundreds of tax returns by April 15th but never his own. Or the Gardener who forgets to water his lawn in the middle of summer.
Many advisors prepare retirement plans, estate plans, and business succession plans for others yet never sit down and prepare a business plan for their own practice. Sound like you?
Business plans traditionally took many hours to prepare, filled thick binders with pages and pages of market data, product and service plans, and financial forecasts. A business plan’s chief purpose was to get a bank or investor financing and was soon forgotten. Especially after the five figure consulting fee was paid. Was it used to run the business? You must be joking!
No wonder few businesses, including planning practices, prepare a plan and execute it to reach financial and practice goals. The cost in time, trouble, and money just wasn’t worth the perceived benefit.
Jim Horan’s series of books entitled, The One Page Business Plan has changed this gloomy picture for over 250,000 businesses since 1994. Now you can create a one page business plan to help define your practice, set goals, and define activities to help you reach your goals. In 2008, he wrote a Financial Services Edition which makes your job even easier.
The book walks you through a series of thought-provoking self-assessments and fill-in-the-blank templates to help you do the following:
- Describe the vision for your practice in one compelling sentence.
- Define who you are in service of and what you will do for them in 8 words or less.
- Define success so that it is measurable, graphable and achievable.
- Develop a set of focused strategies that will guide the development of your practice over the next 3 to 5 years.
- Define and prioritize the critical practice building projects and programs that must be implemented to execute your strategies.
Does this sound like a lot of work? Well, the book provides lots of examples to borrow from and a proven methodology. You also get a CD with Excel and Word documents to help you through the process. All very helpful.
But can you really do this by yourself? Yes and no. You can certainly do it yourself and by yourself. You’ll be miles ahead of where you are now without any business plan at all.
I recommend working with trusted advisors such as your partners, business coach and even your spouse. These “extra eye balls” will help you see your firm where it really is today and keep you from setting unattainable goals.
The value of this book far surpasses it’s list price of $34.95. Or its discount price at Amazon.com of $25.21.
Have I used the book? Yes, I created a one-page business plan for my living trust seminar business. That’s how I discovered the book because I needed a business plan for an attorney and I needed it fast. I’ll use the non-profit edition to help craft a business plan for our local Gospel Rescue Mission on whose board I serve. Another situation where I can’t create a lot of extra work for the executive director.
I’ll help my marketing consulting clients create one page business plans for their practices before I touch their websites or fix their yellow page ads. Or do anything else.
You won’t go wrong with this book. Get it, read it, and put it to use!