If I told you that there are a quantifiable number of entrepreneurs that spend more time planning Thanksgiving weekend than they spend on their annual business plan’s would you believe me – or perhaps recognize yourself? It’s a sad reality that I have seen time and again throughout my decades as a Business Coach, and is one of the main causes of business stagnation or total failure.
From my experience, one the main reasons business owners avoid preparing a business plan is the misconception that in order to create one you have to stay holed up in a small office buried in a pile of papers and books for months. This could not be further from the truth, and in fact, with the right guidance it shouldn’t take more than a few days to finish and will be worth it’s weight in gold when it comes to taking your business to the next level. A properly constructed business plan will create a clear vision, outline goals, define strategies and develop an implementation plan to set your business up for success in the year ahead.
Behind every top echelon entrepreneur and their successful business is a well- defined, carefully prepared business plan. Here are just a few reasons why a business plan is crucial for every business.
- Growth – Growth is not automatic, although it does sometimes happen, pragmatism is a much more reliable method for growth. If you don’t plan for growth – don’t expect it to happen.
- Mistakes – Developing a business plan is the best insurance that you don’t repeat mistakes from the past. Many entrepreneurs learn the hard way that they are cash poor, didn’t anticipate large capital expenditures, hired the wrong managers or couldn’t meet their lofty goals.
- Emotions – Entrepreneurs all ride an emotional roller coaster from time to time regarding their business. It’s easy to lose sight of reality when you are manic with passion about an idea or overwhelmed by doubt, fear or exhaustion. When your emotions get the best of you, a business plan allows you to step back and take an objective look.
- Blueprint – Your business plan is a blueprint for your goals, priorities, and strategies, but it also doubles as a performance yardstick. Are you on track to meet your goals, have your priorities changed and are your Uniformity – A business plan keeps everyone on the same page. If you feel you or your team is veering off course, a quick reference to your business plan will get you back on track.
- Training – Share and explain your business objectives with your management team, employees and new hires. Make selected portions of your business plan part of new employee training.
If you are serious about growing your business, you need to take the time to think about it.
If you don’t have a business plan or your existing plan is not working for you, or even if you just want some fresh innovative ideas for growing your business, bring your team to the annual Team Business Planning Summit so you and your team can prepare for 2018.
This year’s event will take place in Thornhill, Ontario on November 6-7. It includes a review of 2017 numbers, marketing plan and lead generation, budgeting, growth planning for your business, and much more.