January is definitely one of my most favourite times of the year, and for all #geeky reasons! Its business plan season, and what better way to tackle your plan than to set aside some time for your very own business plan retreat!
I absolutely LOVE business plans and with the New Year comes new opportunity and a fresh start to your goal setting when you’re working on your annual business plan. If business plans aren’t your thing, surely a LIFE PLAN would be something you can dig into. A life plan looks at ALL areas of your life, not just your business. Either format will require a full day of your attention; what I like to call your business plan retreat day.
There are a ton of great business plan templates out there, and I also created a template to use if you need to look at something tailored for our meetings industry. For a life plan, I highly recommend the book and resources by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy, Living Forward.
If you are an entrepreneur or solopreneur, your plan and retreat may require only your input. If you work in a team, your plan may become part of a larger whole. Regardless of who mandates your business plan, spending time alone with your plan is the best way of setting goals that are realistic and challenging for you for the upcoming year.
Given that your business plan/life plan is a roadmap that helps guide you through the year ahead, you need to spend quality time reviewing last year’s plan and creating this year’s new plan. Call it what you will, but a “business plan retreat” is one of the best ways to ensure you have uninterrupted, focused time to spend on your plan.
How Do You Prepare for a Business Plan Retreat
Getting ready to head out on your retreat requires some pre-planning and prep to ensure you get the most out of your time away. Consider these tips for planning your retreat:
- Set aside a day(s) and block it out on your calendar – do not allow other people to book your time on that day. This day is sacred and should be free of other commitments
- Pick a location – this is so important – the right location can make or break your retreat day. Get away from your office and your home – both offer distractions that will derail you from the good work at hand. Some suggestions include:
- hotel – perhaps one with a great coffee shop, club lounge etc. If you work at a hotel, head to a different hotel where you won’t be disturbed
- a friend’s house – when they’re out for the day. Ask your friend if you can borrow their abode while they are at work
- library – you can sit in there for hours unnoticed!
- Pack necessary suppliers – your packing list may look like:
- last year’s plan if available
- post it notes, pens and notepads
- laptop, phone and charging cords
- zipdrive if you need to print anything off and have access to a printer
- headphones and easy listening music (I have playlist of classical music that I go to when I need to focus on the tasks at hand but require something to drown out the other noises of the environment)
- snacks, or cash to buy snacks
- Decide to be unreachable and offline – set your out of office on, and let your colleagues and family members know you are not to be disturbed. This is YOUR time, don’t let anyone take it from you.
The night before you leave for your retreat….
- Pack you necessary supplies
- Put on your “out of office notification
- Thank you family and colleagues for respecting your time away
- Get plenty of rest
What should you do on your business/life plan retreat day:
- Look back – before you can move forward, you’ll need to look at last year’s plan and document where you ended up. For your measurable goals, write down where you ended up and compare them to your business plan
- Be open to what will happen – having the right attitude on business plan retreat day is half the battle. Whether you had a fantastic year, or a disappointing one, this is the day where you chart your NEW course. Be open to what’s possible and to what your heart tells you is possible.
- Allow for changes – your retreat day is only one day in 365 to accomplish your goals. Your plan is a living document and changes will be made. Don’t focus on perfection, focus on larger ideas and the smaller ideas will fill in in the days ahead.
- Stay focused – spending an entire day on your plan can get exhausting. Change up your scenery as required to keep you fresh and focused on the task at hand.
What do you do after the retreat is over?
- Have you plan in a place where you can see it. Either printed or stored in the cloud, ensure its in a place where you won’t forget about it.
- Review your plan regularly – put some times in your calendar to review your plan – once a week is ideal to ensure you stay on track for the goals you’ve set. Plan for larger plan reviews and overhauls every month or quarter.
In need of a business plan template to start the process? Feel free to download my template here, use as a springboard for your own goal-setting process!
How do YOU plan your yearly goals? Do you go on retreat? Are you encouraged to try a retreat? Let me know!!
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