Success Key #7 – Plan, Plan, Plan . . . Plan

Plan, Plan, Plan . . . Plan

If your business is going nowhere or not in the direction you want, maybe a lack of planning is the problem. Planning is the primary management task, the importance of which can never be overstated. To go into business without a business plan is extremely foolish; to try to continue in business without one is even worse.

Planning is a pre-determined course of action for reaching agreed goals. In other words, it involves deciding in advance (i.e. NOW):

  • What to do (i.e. setting goals, targets or objectives),
  • How to do it,
  • Who will do it, and
  • When it will be done.

The benefits of planning are many, and greatly exceed the time and effort (and therefore the cost) of doing it. Planning can:

  • improve both efficiency and effectiveness in all we do;
  • improve decision-making and management;
  • increase the probability of success with a loan application;
  • be a guide or blue-print with priorities for future action;
  • help replace uncertainty and chaos with order;
  • help identify strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities;
  • enable controls to be used to keep things ‘on track’ to achieving goals;
  • enable better integration of complex activities;
  • give the business clear direction and focus;
  • help avoid unwelcome surprises, ‘fire-fighting’ and crises;
  • reduce errors and stress;
  • increase motivation and confidence; and 
  • greatly help dealing with change.