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If you want your company to succeed, it is critical to develop a business plan. This living document describes your goals and provides direction as to how you will achieve them.

Nevertheless, while most real estate professionals agree on the importance of a defined plan, many find that creating one is an overwhelming task.

Although the concern can be the time it will take to map out a strategic plan, the truth is that the time you spend planning can actually save time in the long run by helping you reach your goals faster.

So what does it take to create a successful business plan?

Your first step is to craft a blueprint that will serve as an organizational tool and map allowing you to track, measure and produce sustainable results. It also functions as a reminder of the goals and priorities that you have yet to fulfill.

Furthermore, a blueprint creates tangible milestones that enhance the motivation to keep pushing forward. By creating a business blueprint, you can better prioritize your goals and visualize your desired outcome.

Creating Your Blueprint for Success
The key ingredients that every successful real estate business plan must contain are:

• A summary of who you are, what your business is all about and what goals you wish to achieve. This is important, because you need to understand where you want to go before you can figure out what road to take to get there.
• A description of what differentiates you from your competition
• An analysis of your market and how you plan to capitalize on opportunity
• A clear outline of production goals, including desired income
• Your online and offline marketing strategy and how the two will support each other
• A list of ways in which you can maximize productivity by every means possible
• How leads will be generated and managed
• Determine what methods will be used for communication
• If you are a part of a team, you must include an organizational and managerial structure

Business planning takes time and commitment. It also requires strategic execution. In order to succeed and gain the competitive edge within your market, it is essential that you not only design your future, but follow through on the steps required to achieve your goals.

As stated above, your business plan is a living, breathing document and must continue to evolve just as your business does.

Get started today by visualizing your potential. Then make the conscious choice to grab hold of the opportunity you have to produce a bigger, brighter and more fruitful future.

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Amy Chorew is the Vice President of Platform Development at Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate.

For more information, visit www.bhgrealestate.com.