It is almost time to begin creating your Business Plan for next year. One important part that is often overlooked is what I call the Development Plan. A Development Plan helps you to look at your overall business in different specific areas.

A great story is told by Jeffrey J. Fox in HOW TO BECOME A MARKETING SUPERSTAR. It is the story of Pablo Picasso, dining at an elite New York City restaurant and being approached by a socialite who presumes to ask him for a drawing.

Fox relates, “Picasso grabbed some paper, and with pen and pencil, promptly sketched the waiters passing parfaits. As the woman reached for the sketch, Pablo Picasso said, ‘Madame. That will be $10,000.’ Shocked, she replied, ‘But that only took you five minutes.’ ‘No, Madame,’ replied Senor Picasso, ‘it took me fifty years.’”

Fox tells the story as a parable for understanding—and charging–your worth. (And come to think of it, that part of the lesson applies here, too: a solid development plan will help you avoid the folly of cutting your commission fees.) But we recognize Picasso’s remark about the fifty years as a clear symbol of the value of a development plan. It takes time to plan, but the plan should have long-lasting consequences that shape the course of your business down the road and, ultimately, your desired profit. A development plan, in effect, defines your practice.

A development plan can be as simple as a list. But it is an essential list. On this list you need to itemize the changes needed in the next year to improve your business. On it you should include:

  • Marketing and Lead Systems
  • What kind do you need to bring in the number of leads?
  • Sales and Servicing Systems
  • Technology
  • What about Facebook?
  • What about Twitter?
  • What about Texting?
  • People and Staffing
  • Do you need an office manager?
  • Support Systems
  • Training
  • Policies
  • What are they? And are they written down?
  • Procedures
  • Ditto
  • Team Development
  • Retreats
  • Celebrations
  • Training
  • New Ideas
  • What is next?

This is the place where you name your dreaming: what is it that you want to create? To revise and perfect? To research? To implement? What kinds of systems and practices do you want to employ? What people and roles?

At the development stage, you may be looking at assistants, additional agents, coaches, mentors, equipment, programs, and education. (Budget concerns are for another day.) In development, we identify what it will take to produce your desired outcomes. Put them in place, and the path toward your business future is paved.

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Coach Cheri Alguire has helped hundreds of Super Small Business Owners, Realtors, Managers and Coaches create Business and Life Plans. Check out http://RealEstateBusinessPlanningGuide.com or http://www.SmallBusinessPlanningGuide.com/ contact us today at http://www.CheriAlguire.com