Plan Your Business ‘’Backwards ‘’
Yes you read that right !
Most business owners, like yourself ,do not like the idea of planning . That’s because , often, their only experience is ‘’having’’ to prepare a plan for a bank or institution and it then sits in a file for years and is of no other practical use !
Planning is a critical part of successfully growing business. Often, however business owners get so busy doing, they don’t take the time to plan the actions they need to take to be really successful and as a result end up ‘’getting by’’.
Planning seems cumbersome and without full buy in from the whole team , 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).
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
What I am suggesting here is to ‘’begin with the long term aim in mind’’. So consider setting a long term plan that starts with the shape your business is in when it is finished and will give you the lifestyle of your dreams
Then ,let’s work back from that year by year until the current year when we will break it down into 90 Day Plans .90 days is enough time to get things done and to see measurable progress :
|NOW||Year 1||Year 2||Year 3||Year 4||Year 5|
|£ Average Sale|
|£ Total Sales|
So your 5 steps are now :
- Dream -Write it down
- Goals – Set annual targets
- Learning – Get the knowledge : set a plan getting the skills your business needs
- Plan – A written 90 Day Plan , aligned to your 5 years and from a place of knowledge rather than ignorance
- Action – Daily , based on written goals in your 90 Day plan
A business plan should be seen as a living document. Regular updates every 90 days and revisions are necessary so that businesses can be more proactive rather than be reactive to changes in their marketplace.
If a business started 2020 projecting growth, based on the most recent economic conditions, they wouldn’t have been alone. Most businesses started 2020 with an optimistic outlook, some might have been more conservative than others due to their specific industry, but most business owners were riding the positive waves of productivity and prosperity sweeping most global markets. Then the COVID 19 Pandemic changed everything, overnight.
The 2020 Pandemic swept the global quickly and in a matter of days, all the plans for 2020 were dramatically altered. Over the course of 6-8 weeks for most businesses, it was crisis management mode. Whether scaling back, shutting down or ramping up operations to meet new demands, business owners had to pivot and shift resources, capital, and employees immediately. Whatever they had planned to do was replaced with whatever they had to do to simply survive.
As the Pandemic scare begins to subside and businesses reopen, planning for the near future has never been more important. It is vital that planning for a business not be regulated to intangible wish lists and hypothetical responses to ‘what if’ scenarios. Instead, business planning consistently and more frequently can lead to immediate success and help a business owner establish long-term systems and processes for growth.
Regular and more short-term planning cycles allow a business to pivot and respond more effectively to external and internal changes. If an owner develops a healthy and productive planning process for their business, they have vital information at their fingertips at anytime. They don’t have to scramble to collect it when there is a crisis. They can then jump into action, based on data, facts and historical information, if something dramatic such as the recent pandemic happens to threatens their businesses’ well-being. Without a regular and consistent pattern of planning, business owners are starting from behind from the outset. Using business planning as a means to end means that planning becomes a Systematic organic part of your business, instead of a special event.
Join me in our next 90 Day online Business Planning Day: https://bit.ly/2El7nzL