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Baloney! That’s what I say to those who think building a business plan should take days, weeks or even months. And I say baloney again to those who think a plan has to have a bunch of pages with graphs and charts.
I know for a fact mortgage brokers don’t have that kind of time. But I also know every serious broker needs a good plan. That means if you’re reading this, you’re in the right place. Stick with me and you’ll end up with a plan that can make your 2015 a much better year.
A comprehensive business plan (two pages max) can help you:
►Account for what you accomplish during 2015
►Clarify your life
►Keep track of each of your goals
►Manage your time
►Determine if you’re heading in the right direction
So let’s get right to it. Here are the steps to take to get your plan in place and your year (and rear) in gear:
Create a mission statement
This gets right to the heart of your life and addresses why you’re in mortgage business. It answers why you’re here, what your purpose is and what your business is truly about. Use positive, present tense statements such as “I am,” “I provide,” and/or “I strive” as you define who you are and what you provide your clients. Take 10 minutes now to brainstorm some possible mission statements.
Perform a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats)
For strengths, maybe you’re tech savvy. For weaknesses perhaps you’re unorganized. With opportunities it could be that a large firm is relocating to your city. And for threats, maybe interest rates are rising. Take 10 minutes now and fill in a few items for each category. If you get stuck, ask a co-worker or friend, who knows you well enough, for suggestions.
Write your business objectives
In this section, I’d like you to consider what you want your business to look like in the short-term, six months; in the mid-term, one year; and the long-term, five years. Also, in this same section, write your personal objectives. We cannot be balanced in life if all we focus on is business so consider what your ideal situation would look like with your family, your spiritual life and your social life. Spend 10 minutes now on these topics.
Create your sales goals
Here’s where I don’t want you to be afraid to think bigger. Take 15 minutes here for this section. As part of this segment, here at Corcoran Consulting and Coaching Inc., we include what’s called a goal achievement system that helps you stay on track with your goals. So for each goal, we include a why, excuses for failure, resolve and action items. I believe this is a vital step because it allows you to examine why you might hesitate in completing parts of your business plan.
Develop action items
To wrap up your plan, you need to get specific about how you’ll achieve your goals. So for each goal you should have action items, due dates, who will complete the items and a step-by-step daily and hourly plan with what has to be done. Take 15 minutes and do it.
This article originally appeared in the February 2015 issue of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.