Tuesday, January 7, 2014

How to prepare your business plan using Military Special Forces PACE System

Everyone plans….or at least, they should. But do you know how to plan properly? Being a “prepper” means you commit to prepare… but proper planning involves more than just buying food, gear or learning survival skills. Those are immensely important… but if you don’t have a plan, you will have to make things up as you go, and unfortunately, many REALTORS “wing it” year after year and then wonder why they can’t get ahead.
Being able to adapt and improvise is important, but if you want to give your business the best chance for survival you have to plan ahead. One of the reasons the Marine, Army and Navy Special Forces are so good at what they do is because they plan, and plan, and plan. Then then run through what they’ve planned, adjust their plan, and run through it again and again... They do it so many times they not only don’t have to think about what they’re doing when it comes time to execute, but when things go wrong, they have a plan B, C, and sometimes D to fall back on so they know what everyone else is doing even without communicating it. It’s all about planning and practicing the plan.

But most business people don’t really have military training on how to plan… so here is how the PACE system can be used on the seemingly simple objective of …To Light a Fire. 
Lighting a fire may not seem important as long as the heat is working or the temperature is above freezing…but could become the difference between life and death, (or at least being really uncomfortable), under extreme conditions.

What is P.A.C.E.?
Primary – Alternate – Contingency - Emergency


Objective- To light a fire.   Primary: {I will start a fire using my butane lighter}

This is the overall best plan of action to take, or system to use, based on your objective or goal. It’s your Plan A. This is where most people end. It’s typically a good plan but if you haven’t gone through different scenarios of what could go wrong, how do you know it will achieve your objective?

The primary plan is specific, it’s a good plan, and in its written form…is more than most REALTORS have, but it has holes in it... What if you lose your butane lighter or it doesn’t work?  So…..You need another plan.


Objective- To light a Fire.  Alternate: {I will start a fire using my stick matches}

In theory, your Alternate plan (Plan B) should be just as viable as your Primary plan. That isn’t always going be the case… but you should strive for it. Why do we have alternate plans?... Because things happen.

So when things do go wrong… and trust me… they will go wrong… you have a solution. To make your plan B work…  we’ll assume you have planned and purchased a box of waterproof stick matches.
With business planning, how you decide what your alternate plan is going be is sometimes situation-dependent. So for every objective/goal in your written business plan you will need a “PACE” plan.


Objective- To light a fire.   Contingency: {I will start a fire using my magnifying glass to start a fire}

Your contingency plan is what you’re going do if Plan A and B fail. The contingency isn’t always (or isn’t usually) as good a choice as the others but you need it or you are going to be really, really cold!

It should be something polar opposite of your Primary and Alternate plans. As in this contingency plan using a magnifying glass, you can only rely on it when you have access to the sun. This is the reason you will always have to have the next step in PACE… Your Emergency Plan… to cover all the “what-ifs”.


Objective- To light a fire.    Emergency Plan: {I will make and use a fire drill to start a fire}

An emergency plan will not be the easiest or most convenient plan, but it should still have the ability to meet your primary objective…So in this scenario you will need to educate yourself on how to start a fire using a fire drill before the time comes to utilize the skill in a life or death, (or at least a very uncomfortable), situation.

Using PACE in your business may seem like overkill, but quite often just having a primary plan to meet your goals is not sufficient…and just as likely having only a “plan B” will not get you there either.

Below is a simulated Real Estate Related PACE Plan:

Objective- To close 24 sales in 2014
Primary Plan: {I will consistently work my book of business and farm the neighborhood I live in}

Objective- To close 24 sales in 2014
Alternate Plan: {I will do one home buyer and home seller seminar per month in addition to my Primary Plan Activities}

Objective- To close 24 sales in 2014
Contingency Plan: {I will do one Open House and Two Phone Duty Times per week in addition to Primary and Alternate Plan Activities}

Objective- To close 24 sales in 2014
Emergency Plan: {FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION! In addition to Primary, Alternate, and Contingency Plan Activities I will work FSBO’s, Expireds, and WithDrawn Listings, I will pass out 5 cards every day, I will take donuts to RELO and beg for business, I will ask vendors for referrals, I will ask every agent in the office to remember me if they have a lead they can’t handle, I will cold-call, warm-call, even call my Mother-in-Law and yell at the top of my lungs “I can help you with your real estate needs” if needed….but I am going to close 24 sales in 2014!}

Get the idea? For more info on business planning for 2014 call 818-785-4201!

Eddie Brown ©2014