The Defining Dozen: #12 – What are your key milestones?

Learn how to answer the twelfth of the "Defining Dozen" questions – What are your key milestones? – so you can write an effective business plan.

In Step 3 of "10 Steps to Open for Business," answering the “Defining Dozen” questions is vital to writing a good business plan. The Sloan brothers describe them in detail in StartupNation: Open for Business, their book. Here is the twelfth of those questions, in a special book excerpt:

What are your key milestones? Create a chart that shows dates when you expect to achieve key milestones as your business launches and grows.

Have a visual map of what has to happen—and when— to keep you focused on priorities. While many times your guesstimates of a major milestone will be off the mark, those milestones are important because they’ll keep you accountable as you evaluate your progress. If you’re not hitting your key milestones, it’ll force you to get real about your performance, your resources, and the resolve you’ll need to get back on track. You may decide that a “plan B” shift in thinking is required. But without the milestone chart, you’ll never know if you need to shift or respond until it’s way too late.

Excerpted from StartupNation: Open for Business Copyright© 2005 by Jeff Sloan and Rich Sloan. Excerpted by permission of Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Learn more about the Sloan brothers’ secrets to business success – buy the book StartupNation: Open for Business now.

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