We’ve all heard the saying “Fail to plan. Plan to fail.”, but what does this mean in real life for your business?
Well, if you haven’t got a plan, how do you know where you’re going, what you need to achieve, when you’re doing well, or how well you could be doing?
Failure doesn’t necessarily mean bankruptcy, although for some businesses that’s what they end up facing. Failure can mean missing out on opportunities, not making the most of what you could have, or spending so much time working that you don’t get to spend quality time with the people you love.
So why do so few business owners put an effective plan together? For some, putting a plan together takes up time that they feel they should spend working in the business and earning money. Or the business has to be so reactive to the marketplace that a plan would constantly be changing. Some just don’t see the point. If the bills are being paid then surely everything’s going OK, and why do we need a plan?
But the point of a plan is that it gives you clear direction and goals. It gives you actions to complete in order to stay on track, and it provides you with something to measure, so you know if you’ve achieved what you set out to achieve.
It might take a little while to put together in the first place, but if it identifies ways of doing things that increase profits, then it’s worth investing the time in it. It might need to be flexible as new opportunities come along, but you still need to measure your progress along your new direction somehow. And if you’re being successful enough to pay all the bills without a plan, just imagine how much extra profit you could make if you really had clear goals and a plan of how to get there!
Not everyone does have clear goals, and as business owners it’s as important to consider what you want out of your personal life, as it is to consider what you want from your business. If you want to be in a position to take a year out and travel around the world with your family, you can grow your business to give you that freedom. If you want to provide a legacy for your children, you want to make sure that you’re not actually leaving a burden behind. Even if you just want to enjoy a comfortable retirement, you need to work out how and when your business is going to provide you with that, to make sure you don’t end up having to work way beyond the point when you expected to stop.
Once you’ve got your goals, it’s time to work out the steps you need to take to achieve those goals, and schedule the steps in so that you are constantly taking actions and moving closer to achieving the goals you’ve set.
Measuring the results will show exactly how much closer you’re getting, and whether there are things in the plan that need to be tweaked or completely changed to ensure that you continue in the right direction.
Writing a plan can be a daunting task, and actually following it once it’s been written often seems even more impossible. This is where PlanningCLUB from ActionCOACH can add incredible value to your business. We’ll help you identify your goals and take you through two days of intensive planning. You’ll do it using amazing software that helps you consider the financial impact of different scenarios, so you can work out the best routes forward for your business.
You come out with a five year plan, but we’ll also work with you to produce a one year action plan, so you have the schedule of activities that need doing in the first year to achieve those first year goals, and the criteria by which to check your progress and success as you move forward.
PlanningCLUB is run with monthly start dates. There are only 5 places, so that everyone gets focussed attention. So if you’re a Rugby based business owner, with a turnover in excess of £300k and a team of more than 5 employees, and you’d like to accelerate the growth and development of your company, then click here to find out more and register for a place.