Let Tolstoy Write War & Peace!

Whilst working in the IT industry, my new boss asked me to write my annual business plan for what was at the time the largest multi million pound customer we had in Europe, and after some considerable time and thought I duly presented my 10 page plan.

“What this?” my boss asked looking at my concise document, and after a cursory examination he threw it back across the desk at me. “This won’t do – I want a detailed plan of exactly how you intend to manage the account for the year, not this flimsy effort.” Further explanation revealed that a detailed plan meant at least ten fold as much!

So three weeks later, having completed the new document now weighing in at a unhealthy 94 pages, I represented my plan which it would seem my boss whole heartedly approved. And that was the last time anyone ever looked at that version of the plan again.

So what’s my point? Well, there are several:

• Yes your plan will likely take some time to do as you need to think about what you want to do for the coming year and then how you are going to make it happen.
• The plan should clearly state what you want to achieve and then an overview of how you are going to do this.
• The biggest roadblock to success is probably you, but conversely the person most likely to make the plan succeed is also you too.
• Any goals should be SMART; specific, measureable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.
• When finished, the plan should be so valuable you will always want to refer to it.
• It should be concise.
• And finally it’s a plan not a work of art – amend and update it as you go along, as in business things constantly change!

Going back to the start of this story, did I implement my original plan on the way to a record breaking year – you bet!

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