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WNC Business

What’s Your Plan?

Dec 31, 2023 01:16PM ● By Bill Gilliland

“The difference between millionaires and billionaires is that billionaires have a written plan.” Alan Pease 

In hundreds of seminars, I've asked participants "Why don't people plan?" I've heard all kinds of answers: fear of failure, fear of success, laziness, not enough time, scared, don't know how, it might not work… Blah, blah, blah. They're all excuses.   

Yet when I ask the same people "Do you believe that planning is important?" they all say “yes.”  

So, we can all agree that planning is a key component of being successful. 


I advocate a 5/3/1/90 goal setting and planning approach. What that means is you build a five-year comprehensive plan, and to achieve your five-year plan, you determine a three-year set of milestones, develop a one-year plan, and implement a quarterly or 90-day plan. 

5 Year Comprehensive Business Plan 

There are 3 basic ways to build a business plan. You can do it yourself, you can have someone do it for you, or you can do it with a facilitator or your coach.  

DIY: The main advantage is that it is inexpensive. The disadvantages are that it takes a long time to get the plan in place.  

DFY: It is expensive, possibly up to $30,000, and it is not really your plan. 

DWY: It can be done in as little as two days and is moderately priced.  

In any event, you have to have a five-year plan first. 

Three-Year Milestones – Based on your five year goals, where do you need to be in 3 years to reach those five-year goals?  

One-Year Plan – This should be done in November or December of the year. Review the year, update your goals and complete a new 1 year plan. (If you’d like a template, just let me know). 

90-Day Plans – People ask me all the time “why 90 days”? Ninety days is long enough to get something done and short enough to keep your eye on the ball. (If you’d like to attend one of our 90-day planning sessions, just reach out to me, and I’ll get you a free ticket.) One year is just too long for most people to focus. Have you ever done a one-year plan, set it on the shelf, and then in about November you come back and look at the plan and say, "Yeah, okay, how am I doing”? Ninety-day plans eliminate that. 

A quarterly plan is divided into thirteen weekly plans. This simple action of “chunking down” your plan into manageable steps guarantees movement towards your long-term goals. In the last week of every quarter, you will review your progress and complete another 90-day plan. Once a quarterly plan is in place, it becomes easier to hold the people you coach accountable to the plan.  

Weekly and Daily Plans – Weekly plans should be completed on the Friday of the prior week, and daily plans should be completed before leaving the night before.  

What’s the most important plan? Answer: Your Daily Plan.  

Get in the planning rhythm and watch your business grow.  

Bill Gilliland is a five-time business owner, speaker, and business coach. To reach out or for more information on planning and scaling your business, visit NCBusiness.Coach or call 828-348-1787.