Tuesday, November 29, 2011

90-Day Plan: D-4 - Preparation

Before you even start implementing your first proper 90-day plan, you need to make sure that all the ground work has been covered. Otherwise, you'll be on your sixth 90-day plan by day 10. That's just wasting your time and energy.

So what ground work is there?

1. Preparation
2. Organisation
3. Planning
4. Review


From personal experience, this is the easiest step to overlook, primarily because it can encompass a wide range of activities.

Depending on your personal circumstances, preparation could involve creating a specific work environment, buying in supplies of leaflets, work clothes, stationery and other consumables, investing in business equipment (new printer, 'new' car) and, of course, warning friends and family about your diary commitments for the next 90 days.

Some organisations provide their own checklists for fledgling distributors to help them get started; your own team leaders may provide you with a preparation checklist that they find works for their business. If you have the opportunity to use tried and tested methods, then use them, at least for your first 90-day plan. You can always tweak the plan to suit yourself as you go along.

If you don't have access to a 90-day plan checklist, contact me via the comments and I'll send you the one I use. It is not tied to any specific business or network marketing company.

Essentially, your preparation should include the following:

1. Identify in generic terms what you want to achieve in the next 90 days - is it improved sales, a larger team, or both? Is it the deposit for a car, a holiday? Is it paying off debt? Write down 10 to 15 items.

2. Then write down a list of 5 specific goals that you intend to achieve within the 90 days. That means taking the initial 10 to 15 items and determining a realistic target date for each. You'll find a lot eliminate themselves at this point. If you find you have more than five goals that you feel are realistic, then prioritise and pick the first 5. You can always replace completed goals with ones from the list later. Don't pay attention to hype at this point, you want to set realistic goals so that when you achieve them, you build your confidence for the next 90 day plan.

3. Write down how you will achieve those 5 goals. For example, if a goal is "To save £300 per month", then how you achieve that may be "To sell £1600 of products", or "To recruit and train 5 new team members", or "To stop spending £100 at Starbucks every month, sell £800 of products and recruit 1 new team member and train them to sell £800 of products." Only you can determine how to reach your goals.

4. Collate all know diary events for yourself and your family for the next 90 days. You'll need to know what blocks of time are available to you. Include everything you can think of, including "together time", gardening, shopping, nights out, school sports days and teacher meetings. Don't plan anything yet.

5. Check that you have everything you need for the first 28 days of your 90-day plan. That includes a designated space to work (even if it's the dining table), leaflets/flyers, samples, catalogues, opportunity brochures/dvds, pens, stamps, diaries, wallplanners, paper, ink cartridges, work clothes, money to cover petrol costs, postage, etc.

6. Identify any gaps/omissions in what you need and identify when/how you will address those gaps.

7. Take a realistic look at yourself and identify any issues that may stop you from achieving your goals in the next 90 days. Do you lose enthusiasm quickly? Do you have a PhD in procrastination? Do you promise things and then not deliver? Are you disorganised?

8. Decide what you are going to do to prevent those issues. If you are competitive, then creating a set of small, weekly targets that gain you rewards may be a great solution. If you prefer doing things at your own pace and finishing one thing before you move onto the next, rewarding yourself for a small task that's well done may inspire you. Bear in mind that you are the master of your fate; nobody else is.

9. Write down your baseline results so far. Break those results down into weekly, monthly and quarterly if you've been in business for long enough. If you've only just started - great! If your figures are 0, 0 and 0, you can only improve from now on.

10. Tell your family that you are committing yourself to a 90-day plan of activity and discuss the effects with them so they know what to expect.

Once you've completed your preparation checklist, you're ready for the next step - getting organised.

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