Planning seems cumbersome and without full organizational consensus, are often not implemented. Many believe that planning isn’t effective and try to run their business moment to moment. Experts argue the contrary. “A business plan is also a road map that provides directions so a business can plan its future and helps it avoid bumps in the road. The time you spend making your business plan thorough and accurate, and keeping it up-to-date, is an investment that pays big dividends in the long term” (Enterpreneur.com, 2020).
You would never take a trip without at least knowing where you were going? Planning for a business is much the same. If you have ideas of where your business should be or where you want your business to be, then planning is a must. Remember, tactics and strategies can change. You can deploy resources differently or allocate them in new ways to meet market conditions, but you should never abandon your plans of being bigger, better, and stronger. Only with a road map, a chart, and a course can you stay on track and achieve the business goals you want.
Without planning, business owners get frustrated, end up doing a lot of rework and ultimately end up wasting resources on projects and activities that never bear fruit. Slowing down to plan isn’t just good business, it could be the difference between experiencing a steady upward trajectory or having a sputtering, haphazard road forward. But slowing down feels antithetical to the entrepreneurial spirit that encourages sprinting instead of a slow and steady pace.
A business plan should be seen as a living document that includes an executive summary; marketing strategy; competitor analysis, design, and development section; operational and management plan; and detailed financial reports. A useful business plan allows owners and investors to analyze the data collected which will identify specific projections of success.
Put it on your calendar on a regular basis. Scheduling time for planning activities is probably the best and maybe the only way to ensure that they get done. You should spend 20% of your time working ON your business. One way is to allocate 4 hours per week to planning (medium-long term, not short term), an additional 8 hours per month, perhaps a couple of half-day sessions, and then an additional 16 hours per quarter, perhaps in an off-site session or two.
Break up the work and the time into proper-sized chunks. Some people work best in 30-minute bursts, others prefer 2-hour chunks of time. Pay attention to your own attention span and work style and allocate the most efficient periods of time for you to get your work done. Break up the work into properly sized chunks so that you can accomplish something meaningful in each time period. Know yourself, and when you set aside your Zone time, make sure the chunks of time will be most effective for you.
Establish a system for accountability to help you reinforce the need and the habit and have an accountability partner. Be sure that they know to ask you when you are allocating your time, and how you intend to spend it. Be sure that you have deliverables to them for the output of your planning, and set aside the time to review and discuss it with them. This can take the form of a coach, an accountability partner, or a mastermind group such as GrowthCLUB.
GrowthCLUB is a Quarterly workshop that helps clients and their management team plan and prepares their 90-day plan. The purpose of the day is to assess where the business has got to on its long-term plan in the last 90 days and what needs to happen in the next 90 days to move the business forwards towards achieving that plan. This is also an ideal workshop for other business owners and employees to attend. It helps to increase learning and gives them a structure to plan growth in their business and personal lives. Contact us today to get connected to one near you before the next quarter sneaks up on you.
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As your Business Coach and advisor, I will help you deliver the results you desire using proven tools, methodologies and systems, tested and perfected over tens of thousands of businesses worldwide for over more than two decades. I will hold you accountable for your results and just like a sports coach, push you to perform at optimal levels. Let's schedule a complimentary Business Coaching session to get started.