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Unformatted text preview: d weaknesses? Make it consistent and realistic. A mediocre strategy implemented well and with consistency will always beat a brilliant strategy that is never implemented. Check your plan for consistency throughout. Does your spending reflect your strategy? Do your numbers, including your sales forecast, expense forecast, and personnel plan, reflect your strategy? CHAPTER 19: MAKE IT REAL At this point, you’ve been through the main thinking and analysis. It is time to put some bite into your plan and management by listing specific actions to be taken. The best way to make a plan real is to fill it with specific concrete details. A good plan is full of dates, deadlines, specific business activities, and specific responsibility assignments. The value of a plan is measured in its implementation. Implementation Milestones Each action is called a milestone. This is where a business plan becomes a real plan, with specific and measurable activities, instead of just a document. Give it as many milestones as you can think of to make it more concrete. Give each milestone a name, a person responsible, a milestone date, and a budget. Then make sure that all your people know that you will be following the plan and tracking plan vs. actual results. If you don’t follow up, your plan will not be implemented. MILESTONES TABLE Milestones are the heart and core of the business plan. 19.2 HURDLE: THE BOOK ON BUSINESS PLANNING The Milestones table should be the most important section of the entire business plan. Each marketing and sales-related program you plan should be listed in the table and explained in the related text, along with relevant details. You want to cement your sales strategy with programs that make it real. How is this strategy to be implemented? Do you have concrete and specific plans? How will implementation be measured? Manage Your Summaries Each of your business plan chapters should begin with a summary paragraph that describes all the high points of the chapter. As you develop these summaries, keep in mind that many business plan readers will read only the summaries that begin...
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