How to Business Plan For Success: A YPN Breakfast Recap

On Wednesday, August 30, 2023, we hosted our monthly YPN breakfast “How to Business Plan For Success” at our home base, Manny’s Deli. We were so excited to get together in person, connect with our peers and devour advice for crafting a successful business plan. You can stay up-to-date on upcoming YPN events by following the YPN Facebook page!


#1 Business Planning Is A Lifestyle

Tracey starts with her end goals and then identifies relevant short-term and long-term business goals. She includes her committee and volunteer aspirations, professional development and important family functions into her business plan. When new leadership roles or volunteer opportunities come up, she always asks herself, “Does this align with my strategic plan or help me towards my end goal?” This has been instrumental in helping her create a work-life balance and avoiding burnout.

Given how frequently the market changes, Tim has found success in planning one year at a time so that he can quickly adjust and shift his plan based on market’s needs. He also commits to completing three to five business-building activities that will help his business, like hosting open houses, being active on social media, networking opportunities and more. Regardless of what you choose, make sure it’s something you can commit to on a consistent basis for at least three to six months.

After experiencing the market crash, Sharon wanted to make sure her business could always project forward. She shifted her business plan to include leadership pathways, time allocated towards recruiting new agents to expand her business and business investments. For her, having strong community and leadership involvement provided her with more options and longevity. 

#2 Best practices To Implement in Your Business Today

  1. Create smart money habits. In Tim’s first year, he spent large amounts on potential leads and didn’t gain a single prospective client! This helped him realize the value of creating more authentic relationships with his family, friends and sphere, saving him money and building customer retention.
  2. Set deadlines for each of your goals. This is a great way to keep yourself accountable and to keep track of your overall progress.
  3. Get in the room with your competition. Use this as a learning opportunity and a chance to get advice from people who have been in your position.

#3 Start Planning For the Next Year Now!

Each of our panelists agreed fall is the perfect time to plan for 2024. Take the time to identify what worked well this year and what didn’t.

Tracey suggests looking at this year’s transactions and the previous year’s to see where your business came from. For example, if your business comes from marketing, create a marketing budget that’ll allow you to capitalize on your marketing initiatives. Don’t get distracted by the noise! Double down on what’s working best for you.

Sharon uses the REALTOR® 100-day rule as her baseline for budgeting the next year. She suggests identifying your base number, personal & family spending, how much you plan to save, average commission and market projections. Also, map out your branding. Plan out your social media strategy and build content based on what’s relevant to your niche market.


We put together three highly recommended, popular worksheets used in business planning. Whether you’re setting goals, breaking down tasks within a larger goal or trying to manage your time, these can help!

Download the PDFs (Includes All 3!)

  • (Page 1) Annual 4-1-1 Worksheet: Keep track of your goals and break them down into manageable mini-goals
  • (Page 2) Weekly Time-Blocked Calendar: Find the schedule that works best for you and your business, and then put it in action
  • (Page 3) 1-3-5 Goal Plan Worksheet: Break down a big goal you want to achieve in a year’s time

Learn more about goal setting and breaking down actionable steps from a past YPN Boot Camp. Learn more about keeping yourself and your team accountable! Explore more tried and true time blocking strategies enjoyed by entrepreneurs everywhere.

Already past the worksheets and the time management? Here’s how to run your business like an MBA.


Sometimes, your business plan includes the help and talents of multiple people!

If you lead a team or an office, consider this: some of the most successful mentor/mentee relationships stem from a mentor who is actively invested and interested in the career of the mentee. As a team lead, you are the go-to resource for your team. When you time block and set goals, don’t dismiss your coaching or leadership time! Set goals for yourself that focus on helping the people you lead.

For Business Plans That Include Hiring

If you’re ready to expand your team or bring on an assistant or transaction coordinator, assess what skillsets are missing from your existing “roster” of talent. Write down what you don’t like to do, what you don’t know how to do, what you do know how to do but don’t have time for  et cetera. You’ve just written a job description.

For Business Plans That Include Finding A Coach

The most important thing to remember when looking for a business coach is to find one whose training, background and skills most closely match your specific goals. This person can help you strategize, pivot, stay accountable, troubleshoot and so much more.

Keep reading:


Tim Mullet recommends The Luke Mind Power Podcast. Each week, the host, Luke, shares an inspiring, energizing message to help you believe in yourself and your dreams.

When in doubt, ask your peers how they stay motivated! Here are some wellness-themed books to add to your bookshelf and wellness apps to add to your devices.

Chicago REALTORS® · 2023 YPN August Breakfast: How to Business Plan for Success