STEP 6: Put the logic or rationale behind your assumptions into writing.

Include an annual revenue goal analysis and an annual budget. Please keep in mind that you need to be realistic. Try not to be overly aggressive or conservative. It is very hard to run a profitable business with unrealistic expectations.

STEP 7: Develop a marketing plan.

A strong marketing plan is the nucleus of your business plan.

STEP 8: Keep your business plan in view.

Once the hard work is done and your business plan is complete, don't shove it in your desk drawer and forget about it. Your business plan will be most effective if you periodically review it on a scheduled basis and make any and all necessary changes and updates.

Finally, when you are working on your business plan and figuring out your goals, don't be afraid to be aggressive. You should plan to significantly increase your assets under management each year. Do you realize that if you can accomplish a goal of a growth rate of 20% per year, your income will double about every four years?

"A 20% increase per year?" you are asking yourself. "Is this possible?"

Absolutely. But you must be willing to invest the time to write out a formal or functional business plan!

Tom Gau is principal of Oregon Pacific Advisors in Ashland, Ore. Together with Ken Unger, he serves as co-president of MillionDollar Producer. They can be reached at

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