It is not that businesses without plans fail, many continue at a level for many years, but something that sets apart businesses that expand and achieve high returns is that they have plan.
With this in mind we explore some of the benefits of having a plan:
- Focus. Part of the process of having a plan is knowing what you want to achieve and knowing this creates an important clarity and focus to actions. When you know what your focus is, you start to notice the actions that need to be taken. You spot the opportunities that are coming your way. You can communicate what you need and want to others and they can start pulling in the desired direction.
- Accountability. Any plan sets up targets and targets create accountability. One of the problems of small business can be that we are not accountable to anyone. Therefore we are able to drift without anyone noticing. A plan goes some way to creating accountability especially if you share it with others and report back to them on a regular basis.
- Forethought. Naturally the more time you put into your plan, allows you to consider more of the problems and opportunities you face.
None of this matters as long as we are happy continuing to allow things to happen organically, but if you want to achieve growth and high returns, we almost certainly need to plan for it.
Just as an architect starts sketching when wanting to create a beautiful building, so we, as business owners, need to get into the habit of working on spreadsheets (or better still software such as LivePlan).