The One Question You MUST Ask Before Completing Your Annual Plan

If you’ve ever worked on creating an annual growth plan (or “strategic” plan) you know that there comes a point, when  you’ve done a lot of work,  where you “just want to ‘get ‘er done,'” right? And if you’ve ever been there, and you’ve ever wrapped up your planning process rather quickly at the end, chances are you missed asking this one question.

However it is in the missing of asking this one question, that most plans end up falling short of their stated goals.

But what if?

What if there was one question that you could ask before you completed your plan that could significantly increase the probability of you achieving your plan?

Or, what if there was one question that you could ask that would radically increase the probability that you could double your business this year?

Or, what if there was one question you could ask that would pretty much ensure you’ve got the right plan for the coming year?

If there happened to be a question like that, would you want to know it?

The One Question

Now, having said that, before I share this one question with you, I have to warn you that you’ll probably be underwhelmed by it. You might even wonder, “Is that really what all that build up was all about?”

Yes it was. But, make no mistake, you and I should never confuse something simple with something simplistic. The most powerful ideas in this world are simple—they’re just rarely practiced. And that is clearly true of this idea. It’s rarely practiced—and that’s the problem.

So, what is the one question you MUST ask before you complete your annual plan (or growth plan or strategic plan)? The one question is …

If we were to do everything we say we’re going to do in this plan, would it actually deliver the results we want?”

Now, before you move on too quickly, let me share with you that I’ve asked this question of a lot of people who have plans—and rarely has anyone been able to answer it in the affirmative. For example, when I ask a business owner to take and put revenue projections next to each of their “strategic ideas” for the year, and then I have them add them up, there’s almost always a huge discrepancy between the two.

In other words, most of the business leaders I’ve met have created plans that even if they executed them perfectly,  wouldn’t deliver their stated objectives. And since nothing goes perfectly according to plan, most businesses fall short of their goals (especially their revenue and profit projections) year after year.

My Recommendation

Instead, what I’d recommend is that once you’ve created your first draft of your strategic or annual growth plan, you go back through and assign revenue numbers (for example) to each of your growth opportunities (or what I call growth accelerators). Add them up. Then add up your projections for your current products and/or services. Total both groups together and see if the combined number is more than sufficient to hit your revenue projection for the next 12 months.

If those two numbers don’t surpass your revenue goal, then don’t keep moving forward. Go back and rethink your strategies and tactics until the number they produce is more than sufficient to surpass your revenue projection (and surpass is critical since most of us are way too optimistic on revenue projections).

So, take a look at your plan. If you were to do everything you say you’re going to do in your plan for this coming year, will it actually deliver the results you want?

If not, or if you haven’t put your plan together for next year, or if you’d like to hear more tips like the one above, make sure you join me this week for the unveiling of my new course, “Double It: How to Create a Killer Growth Plan to Double Your Business in the Next 6, 12 or 24 Months.” You can check it out at

To your accelerated success!

P.S. The Double It course starts tomorrow (December 18th) so don’t put off signing up. Also, even if you can’t make the live training sessions, make sure you register so you can have access to all the recordings in order to help you create your Double It Growth Plan BEFORE the New Year starts! Again, that was