Thanks to author Joe Cooke in the RISMedia real-estate oriented blog for making some very good points in a post today titled “Do You Have a Business Plan?” Joe says you do have a business plan, whether you realize or not. Your plan is either a visual plan, a written plan, or a plan by proxy. He recognizes that visual plans are very common and, when they work, can be very effective. The people who have visual plans …
“have their goals and systems so clear in their minds that they don’t need them written down. These people are easy to identify, because every action they take is leading them toward some goal, and every move they make is efficient. They can tell you how many appointments they need to make in order to get a listing, and how may contacts they need to make in order to get an appointment. They are driven, intense, and dedicated to their mission, but they never get tired or burnt out. “We all imagine ourselves in this category, because it sounds easy. However, successful business people with this kind of focus, knowledge and energy are rare.”Joe says the most common case is the plan by proxy, meaning that by default you let other people plan for you. He suggests that for real estate agents that’s the brokerage or other people. In the rest of the world, who knows, if you plan by proxy that means you are letting yourself be controlled by events, by assumptions, by putting out fires, or whatever. Maybe even by your customers. You are reacting to events, not controlling your own destiny. That’s the plan by proxy. A lot of people who believe they are visual planners are not. They are kidding themselves. Of course the best case is the written plan.
“If you fancy yourself as a visual planner but you are suffering with time, money, health or relationship issues, then you might want to take a shot at a written plan. If the very thought of planning makes you shudder because a plan seems inflexible, irrelevant and difficult, then approach the process in a flexible, relevant and easy way. In fact, national real estate trainer Carla Cross sees the planning process as a key element of the plan. ‘The planning process is just as important as the plan itself,’ says Cross. ‘The process gives you a way to think through your business.'”
I couldn’t agree more. It’s the planning process. You plan because you want to control your destiny, and, ultimately, manage.