It's Not the Plan, It's the Planning


The key thing about planning is that it is not the plan, the noun, but the planning, the verb, that is really important, and the key to success. If you Google ‘business planning’ you’re going to get several million results.

The information on how to plan is out there ­ it’s easy to do ­ you can hire someone to do it for you or you can download a template off the internet. But if you don’t sit down and really go through it with the people you’re going to be working with, then you really don’t understand it. Why do so many businesses skip the planning stage? Planning requires discipline, it requires you to sit down and pull the strategy together. It can be daunting. A lot of small business owners don’t know where to begin, so they don’t do it.

They are constantly reacting to things as they are happening, and when they react poorly ­ things get worse. This leads to one of two conditions:

Crazy Chaos

Everyone in the company is running around with their hair on fire

Apathy

Everyone feels defeated and has run out of motivation

They both stem from the same thing ­ those people with their hair on fire, or without motivation, don’t know what decisions to make and they don’t know how to find the answers to the things that are bothering them.

As you develop a plan, you get to test that plan in writing or in discussion with your peers and employees. You can sit together and work out every scenario you can think of. So now, through planning, you can test your assumptions without it costing you any failure or grief. It really is an amazing process when you get in a room and run your SWOT analysis, or the next step; taking the S​trengths, W​eaknesses, O​pportunities, and R​isks you identified to come up with the key strategies to build your plan.

When you run your business without a plan and only react to situations as they come up you may not see the results of your reactions for a long, long time. Building a plan lowers your risk and allows you to make tweaks that you can gauge immediately.

I feel that everybody who owns a business is really good at something. They can have boundless energy and enthusiasm. But there are things they aren’t good at ­ that they ignore. By developing a strategy, you can start making better decisions based on your plan and begin to see results.


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