Wishes aren’t enough. How should agency owners shift their wishes to actually making them a reality? Why not start with a one page business plan?

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Hey everybody! Drew McLellan here from Agency Management Institute. This week, I am coming to you from Tokyo, Japan, and as you might guess by the tapestry behind me, I’m actually at Tokyo Disneyland. When we walked into Disneyland yesterday, we discovered that all over Japan, they’re celebrating a festival or a season called Tanabata. And Tanabata is the story of two lovers who are represented by two stars that are kept apart by the Milky Way. But once a year they are able to come together if the skies are clear, and be together for that day. And in Japanese culture, what they do to celebrate that, they have festivals and all kinds of other things, but one of the things they do is they write a wish on a paper star and they hang it on a bamboo tree. And after it’s been hanging there for a period of time they gather all of the wishes off of the bamboo trees and they float them down a river or in the ocean as kind of an offering. And you know, Disney’s, of course, all about wishes. And I think wishes are great. I’m all about having deep, heartfelt wishes. But you know what turns a wish into something real? Writing it down. So, do I think that my wish is more likely to come true because I wrote it on a star yesterday? I hope so. But what I do know for a fact is if we have wishes about our business, about our agency, the best way for us to actually make those wishes come true is to write them down. Most agencies do not operate off of a business plan, and the reason they don’t is because most business plans, our perception of a business plan is that it’s got to be this huge, hairy deal, and it’s got to be a three-ring bound, and it’s got to be hundreds of pages with charts and graphs, and you know what, I think that’s wrong. I think your business plan can be as simple as one page. And so we have, for many years, been working with agencies on what we call the AMI One Page Business Plan. And you can go grab that business plan, because you know what? We’re at the cusp of the year, we’re halfway through the year, so let’s finish 2019 strong. Let’s figure out a plan of how to get where you want to be by the end of December, and I think the way to do that is to jot that down. So if you go to AgencyManagementInstitute.com/plan, you can read a little bit about our One Page Business Plan and download a template for yourself. Super simple. What I want you to do is identify the biggest obstacle or the biggest opportunity in some key areas, and we outline those for you. And then I want you to identify what’s in the way of you accomplishing that goal or moving that obstacle, and then what are the first two action steps you need to take to get started. And then, and this is critical, then along the left column of that plan you rank the priorities. And so, one of the other mistakes we make is when we plan, we have our appetites, our planning appetite is much bigger than our planning ability to get anything done. And so, what I want you to do is I want you to rank those priorities, and I want you to start on number one. And I want you to stay focused on number one until it’s done. And then move onto number two. And I promise you in six months, because you’ve got about six months left. In six months you can get at least three or four of those priorities taken care of if you start now and if you write them down. Because otherwise they’re just wishes. And here at Disneyland wishes are beautiful. Inside our agency, we need something a little more tangible. All right? I’ll talk to you next week.

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