Using this approach, I led a large organization to 400% top-line improvement in a flat, saturated market – profitably growing the business to well over $80 million with over 700 employees at 8 location in 5 states.
Even more amazing, because this approach kept us well organized and focused, I was able to effectively lead from a remote location, rather than spend all of my waking hours in the office, allowing me to enjoy more of the simple pleasures in life – like spending more time with the kids.
This experience led to writing the book, Business is ART, describing the approach, and, ultimately, to the development of Plan Canvas, making following it even simpler.
When Chrysler gave us a deadline to submit an actionable plan for meeting dealership targets, we used the Plan Canvas approach to develop it.
Although there was a lot more “thinking time” involved, it took us less than 10 hours to create a long-term Strategic Plan and a short-term Business Plan.
Chrysler accepted them on the very first submission – no hesitation, no edits.
Within the first month of managing to the plans, we met our targets for the first time in 13 months. This was no coincidence. The difference was how we focused on achieving goals and objectives rather than hoping something good would happen.
Lance White – Former Manager, White’s Chrysler Dodge Jeep and Ram
My husband, Lance, and I were anxious to launch. As a creative type, I just wanted to get down to creating. But we weren’t just launching a business, we were building something that would give us more quality time with our daughters. We wanted to do it right. Lance had successfully used the Plan Canvas approach in another role, so we decided to use it before launching FRW.
It helped us think through things like our true vision and mission, our target markets, and our staffing needs. It also allowed us to set and focus on immediate income targets. As a result, our launch went smoothly and we are achieving more, more quickly, than we thought we would.
Julie White – Co-Founder, FRW Studios
My team and I ultimately decided not to launch a new business, but I enjoyed Plan Canvas for a few reasons:
Anastasia Button – Author, Coach, Speaker
Every individual, whether an entrepreneur, business owner, leader or not benefits by developing and managing a Personal Plan. The Personal Plan feature in Plan Canvas is free to anyone. Anyone.
Use it to take a good hard look at who you are and who you want to be. What do you want to accomplish over what time frames?
What are you going to do about it?
Review your Personal Plan with someone you have identified as a coach on a monthly basis and be prepared to see how fast you actually accomplish the things you really want in life.
A great way to get started in Plan Canvas for Business is to immediately begin using the Action Item feature. Forget about “to do” lists and using your email in-basket to manage tasks.
Assign Action Items to yourself or others – let Plan Canvas automatically send calendar and email reminders to you and anyone else you have assigned the Action Item.
Our dashboard tells you at a glance if the Action Item is coming due in the next 7 days or if it has gone past due.
Another way to begin using Plan Canvas is to simply start describing your business. Talk about it. Answer questions like:
This is all foundational to your business, whether it is just an idea or something that has been around for a long time.
Ultimately, it answers the question, “Why are you doing this, for whom, and why should anyone care?”
A Vision is great – but how in the world are you going to get there? You need a Strategy – a roadmap. More importantly, you need to manage it. With Plan Canvas it’s easy to do both.
Start by defining your long-term goals and objectives. Goals are more of a destination. Objectives are how you measure progress toward them. But how do you accomplish them?
Some are accomplished over the long haul through on-going operations. Some are only enabled through extra investments in time and money.
These are called strategic initiatives – internal projects. Easily define, prioritize, assign, and manage your portfolio of internal projects within the Strategic Plan.
If a Strategy is the long-term road map, then a 12-month Business Plan is the car and managing the plan is driving it. Again, Plan Canvas makes it easy to do both.
Start with the end in mind. What are your measurable objectives for things like Sales & Marketing, Operations, Staffing, and Financial results?
Now back in to what you will do to achieve those objectives. Include important things like how you will manage or avoid risks, how you will train and retain employees, and what other comparable businesses are doing.
If your business is dependent on delivering projects or large orders to clients, collectively, those projects and orders are called a portfolio. Manage the portfolio by recording and tracking high level, critical information like:
This gives you one, nice, summary view of all of those client projects you’ve got going on so that you and your team can stay focused and stay on top of them.
Personal Plans for up to 4 individuals
Define personal mission and purpose
Identify strengths and blind spots
Define long-term, mid-term and short-term objectives
Define and track action steps to achieve objectives
Up to 4 Users
Unlimited “Ad Hoc” Users receiving assignments
Personal Plans for up to 4 individuals
Unlimited long-term Strategic Plans
Unlimited short-term Business Plans
Unlimited Action item assignments
Unlimited client projects / orders
Dr. Ivan Misner
NY Times Best Selling Author and Founder of Business Networking International (BNI)