Develop Your Business Plan Now for Success in the Year Ahead –

Consultant presenting business plan strategy for companies and investors
The first of the year is right around the corner. If you haven’t already done so, developing your business plan is vital for the success of your business and the focus of your leadership team and company.
Engaging your leadership team early in the business planning process is crucial. The age-old practice of handing your team their business plan and budget has long occupied a place in the business-planning graveyard.
When I was running Pacific Union, our practice was to motivate and reward our leadership team with a percentage of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA). If we are rewarding based on EBITDA, why not have the leaders drive the business planning process and build the EBITDA plan?
Real estate brokerage revenue should be planned by month, office, unit, average sales price and consumer commission rate. The real estate professional count should be planned by new and existing recruits. These elements contribute to revenue and gross margin. Growing revenues and marketshare, even in a down market, makes managing expenses a lot easier.
If you’re also managing ancillary businesses like a mortgage, title/escrow or insurance business, the similar top-line metrics need to be planned by month, office and so on. This planning approach and the engagement of the leaders provides simple metrics to aspire to, track, report and reward; therefore, no surprises to anyone.
For the expense management of the business-planning process, we looked at several key opportunities:
Finally, have your accounting team print out a list of every company you paid over $5,000 to in 2022 expenses. It is a great review to see all the providers listed in one report. You will find duplicate vendors, technology subscriptions no longer active, and more.
Engaging your leaders in this process creates ownership, focus and a sense of pride. Having the business plan, including several metrics to aspire to and measure monthly or quarterly, creates a tightly run enterprise.
There’s nothing better for a manager than to plan his or her fiscal year, visualize the EBITDA-based bonus opportunity and then proceed every day to chase it.
For more information on our M&A division, visit
Mark A. McLaughlin is a leader in the mergers and acquisitions advisory team at the WAV Group. McLaughlin Ventures partnered with WAV Group to provide expanded M&A and advisory services to brokerage firms, property management firms, technology firms and lenders.
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