Action Plan Basics

What goals do you have for your business in the next year? Increased sales, better cash flow, new equipment, reduced debt, streamline efficiencies, expanded products or service offerings

Having clearly defined goals will be key to growing your small business, and having a detailed Action Plan is key to achieving those goals. Today, we’ll look at the steps to create a good Action Plan and what should be included.

For our example: We’ll look at a lawn care business, Top Cut Lawn Care. Top Cut has an owner and three employees and wants to boost revenue without incurring a lot of up front capital costs. To start, we brainstormed ways to find new clients and ways to increase sales to existing clients.

New Clients Increased Sales
Referrals Raise Prices
Social Media New Services
Paid Advertising Add-On or Tiered Services
Create Website Create Subscription Model
Hire Marketer  

In keeping with the goal of avoiding new costs, Top Cut decides not to pursue paid advertising or hire a designated marketing agent, and instead will work on building new referrals & free social media posts. Even though there will be some up-front costs, Top Cuts will go ahead and create a website to create an online hub for the business and build additional credibility.

Top Cut has competitive prices and is worried about losing some current clients if they raise prices. Instead, they will create new services and explore the subscription model with some current customers.

The Plan: For the plan, these objectives were divided into 3 Goals: New Clients, Create Website, and Increase Sales. Each of these goals was then broken into a series of steps, and each step listed the person responsible, a start date, and an end date.


As you can see above, Goal 1 of finding new clients has 4 steps. Tom is going to offer a discount to all current customers each time a referral uses his company. The target is to receive a new prospect from 1 out 3 current clients. If the result is less than this, he may need to increase the discount amount. Tom and his wife Tara will be working on social media together. The plan is to create FaceBook, Instagram, and NextDoor accounts where they can post pictures of completed jobs and talk about new services they plan to offer such as fertilizing, weed care, and mosquito treatments. Finally, Tom wants to leave a small yard sign after each job. He will need the owner’s permission and also to go back and pick up the sign after a few days.

Here are the steps action steps for Goals 2 & 3. Again, each of the Action steps has its own timeline and measure of success. This allows an assessment after all actions are completed to measure against the initial expectation and help determine if other steps may be needed.


Having a good plan is crucial to executing the steps needed to achieve your business goals. If you would like to utilize my template, just click the link below for a free copy in excel. I prefer using a spreadsheet because in some case, the number of goals will need to increase and/or the number of incremental steps to achieve those goals.

Link to Action Plan Template

Best of luck achieving all your business goals this year!













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