The foundation of any business begins with a plan.  Having it in writing will help drive your business forward.

When it comes to real estate (or any other industry for that matter), having a business plan in place will help focus and guide you and your business as it grows.  Although a written business plan may look a little different from one person to the next, here are the general aspects that you want to consider including.

About You and Your Business

Why did you begin your business, and what drives you to succeed?  Clearly spell out what your mission, vision, values, beliefs, and purpose are.  This will help you build the foundation for how you want to do business, and what you become known for.

Have a general understanding of your strengths and weaknesses.  Capitalize on your strengths by helping clients and customers understand the value proposition that they provide.  Analyze your weaknesses and determine what you can do to improve on them.

Setting Goals

Set SMART goals!  SMART goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.  Understanding what your goals are for your business (and other areas of your life) will help you focus on the activities and tasks that help you reach and exceed those goals.

Many companies have laid the foundation for setting goals with proven business models.  Here are a few examples of business models that have helped many individuals achieve success:

  • Economic Model – analyzing your income, costs of doing business, and how much you realistically need to sell to reach your income goal.
  • Lead Generation Model – determining where your business is coming from, and what your lead generation focus should be.
  • Budget Model – analyzing your total expenses and having a proven method of tracking them.
  • Organizational Model – understanding how to leverage your business to focus on the activities that will help it grow.

Budget & Expenses

Most business owners struggle to find the balance between increasing revenue while keeping expenses and costs low.  Developing a budget (and sticking to it!) will aid in understanding where the majority of your cash flow is going.  It is important to track this each year so you can compare to the year before and see how increasing or decreasing certain expenses affects the total business income.

Target Market & Lead Generation

Different products and services can be targeted towards different groups of people.  If you provide a product or service to a very specific target market, understand what drives and influences their needs.  On the other hand, if the product or service you offer is more for the general public, determine what sources of lead generation and advertising will reach the greatest number of people and provide the greatest results.

Keeping Accountable

Once you’ve built your business plan, don’t forget to stay accountable to meeting your goals!  Time block each week to make sure you are on track to be successful.  Ask a mentor, coach, or fellow professional to meet or talk once per week to keep you accountable as well.  Always keep your end goals in mind, and think about how you will feel once you have reached them!