Milestones Make Your Business Plan a Real Plan 8

The Milestones table is one of the most important in your business plan. It sets the plan into practical, concrete terms, with real budgets, deadlines, and management responsibilities. It helps you focus as you are writing your business plan, and then, the Milestones table and plan-vs.-actual management analysis helps you implement your plan as you grow your business.

Put some bite into your plan and management by listing specific actions to be taken. Each action becomes a milestone. This is where a business plan becomes a real plan, with specific and measurable activities, instead of just a document.

Set as many milestones as you can think of to make it more complete. Give each milestone the following:

  • name
  • due date
  • budget
  • person responsible

Then make sure that all your people know that you will be following the plan, tracking the milestones, and analyzing the plan-vs-actual results. If you don’t follow up, your plan will not be implemented.


Manage the milestones
You should use the Milestones to facilitate real management. For example, during a meeting with all managers, discuss the relevant milestones for that time period. Are you on budget? On time? Do you need to make any corrections?

The value of a plan is measured in its implementation.

The Milestones should be one of the most important sections of the entire business plan. Each marketing and sales-related program you plan should be listed in the table and explained in the accompanying text, along with relevant details. You want to cement your sales strategy with programs that make it real.

  • How is this strategy to be implemented?
  • Do you have concrete and specific plans?
  • How will implementation and success be measured?

About the Author Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Follow him on Twitter @Timberry. Follow Tim on Google+ Read more »

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  • sunil soni

    hi this sunil soni . i wanna know that i have a marbel work so how can the milestone is look like

  • dhruv

    Can we use excel to make milestones chart…if yes how do we do it…if which other way can we make a milestones chart…….

  • Free Polazzo

    The trick is to not let the “Milestones” turn into “Millstones”. :)

  • Nor Lee

    Both Bplan and Mplan contain a lot of valuable information. I am in the process of writing a business plan for an internet based business and have found the examples very helpful. thx

  • Mangesh Wagh

    I like this. I always wanted to put down smaller sounding things (typically named as ‘actions’ or ‘tasks’) as milestones….hardly anywhere I could find a similar thought and wondered whether I was wrong.

  • Kirpal Singh Sachdev

    You can create milestones in Excel or Visio. I prefer Excel as it is easier to implement and manipulate if the milestones change which they almost certainly will. You should use the cells as perioid times and diamonds as the main milestones.

  • Theresa Niel

    What I find great about the form above used for measuring and writing the milestones for the planning process to make it real and actualized is the ability to customize the form. For example, a business may not have as many managers but use teams and a start and ending date could be placed on the top label instead of a Planned date. The idea is to at least keep track in some form of the steps (milestones) that are real action activities on the part of the business planner. This is great information for any business to have; thanks for the information.

  • David Urmann

    It seems like this might be more of a to do list then a list of milestones. Milestones are significant points in the business development. A number of actionable items can all be related to a single milestone.