If you are running a business and you do not have a plan, you may be doomed to failure.
Think about this. Would you make a trip without knowing where you are going? Now, you might not plan every minute of your itinerary, but you have a destination in mind and know what you want to see or do when you get there. You may even have some milestones along the way. Getting in the car and driving in a random direction is a waste of both petrol and time. You are basically spinning your wheels and getting nowhere fast. The same is true in business.
Would you build a house without a plan? Would you build an aeroplane without schematics? Both sound ridiculous and they are. You have to have a plan. It is that simple.
If you have a clear plan with specific goals, you are 10 times more likely to succeed than if you don’t have a plan. If you are going to invest your time and money into your business, you need to give it the best chance of succeeding. You do that with a clear plan in place.
What are the benefits of a good plan?
- A plan lays out a path for the short and long-term future. Where do you plan to be in five or ten years? What actions do you need to take to get to that point? A plan will lay out a path to get from your current position to where you want to be by a certain date.
- A plan offers clear goals for you and your team to work towards. With a plan, you have a set of actions which you need to take to get there. With clear goals and action items, you and your team can measure your success weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually. That means your business is working towards tangible goals, not vague thoughts.
- A plan allows you to communicate your business goals with external people such as lawyers, bankers, and accountants. The professionals who help your business succeed are often outside your company. You can clearly communicate your objectives with a business plan. This helps them tailor their services to your short and long-term needs.
- A plan provides critical information for a business loan application. If you want to raise funding for your business, you need to offer the lender solid proof of what you want to do with the money. Having a clear plan for your business makes writing a business plan for this purpose much easier. It communicates your business growth plans.
- A plan establishes and communicates business strategy. Every company has a strategy, and you can use your business plan to lay out your strategy and communicate it to anyone who is interested or has a stake.
Remember, failing to plan is planning to fail!
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