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Category - Business Planning

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1
Planning – Where Do You Want To Go?
2
Pre-Planning Your Business Planning
3
How To Prepare Your Business Plan And Relieve Stress
4
The Practice of Planning
5
Write Your Business Plan In A Day

Planning – Where Do You Want To Go?

The first stage of any planning exercise is to define where you want to go.

Imagine starting on a journey to visit mum without knowing where she was? Imagine getting on a plane to go on holiday without knowing where the plane was going?

Without knowing where you want to go, you cannot take steps to get you there.

Obviously, it is the same in Business Planning. In order to know what to do to make your business grow and be successful, you need to decide what you want the business to be like when it is successful.

This week, I’m going to show you how to do that in your Business Planning process.

The clearest way to define what your business will be like when it is successful is to create a Vision Statement and define it for measures of success.

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Pre-Planning Your Business Planning

Believe it or not, one of the most important tasks before you start any Business Planning is to plan for how you will actually conduct your planning.

If you start without doing this, you are likely to go awry during your planning process.

To me, this is similar to how you decide on your holiday before you make plans for your holiday.

You have to make certain foundational decisions like when you want to take the holiday and where you want to go.

Without this information, your planning of the holiday could go sideways – you might book the wrong dates that clash with something else, or book somewhere inappropriate for the season!.

The first step in any Business Planning process is to “Get Ready To Plan.”

So let’s go through the decisions you have to make in order to make your Business Planning process smooth and efficient.

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How To Prepare Your Business Plan And Relieve Stress

The Practice of Planning is one of the Six Business Success Factors that successful businesses do well.

The reason that it is such an important ingredient in business success is two-fold.

First, good planning means that the successful business is prepared for anything. The habit of planning for everything allows the business owner to answer questions in everyday tasks such as:

  • “What do I really want to achieve?”
  • “What steps do I need to take?”
  • “What resources do I need and when?”

Second, the fact that you have laid out a clear path to follow, whether in growing your business or in something small and detailed such as hiring a staff member, means that you remove the every-day stress of not knowing what you are doing from time to time.

Knowing what you should do and when you should do it in your daily actions removes stress because you can plan your day and know at every turn what comes next.

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The Practice of Planning

I have identified six things that businesses must do if they are to be successful businesses.

Not all businesses manage to be good at all six things, but all successful businesses – no matter how small – are good at all six things.

These Six Business Success Factors are providing Leadership, good Planning, effective Marketing, Customer Fulfillment, management of Operational Efficiency, and the mastery of its Finance.

This week I’ll discuss the Practice of Planning and how it helps any size business to succeed.

I’ll then set you a challenge that you can undertake over the next 5 days.

It will be fun and more importantly, it will help your business become focused on success.

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Write Your Business Plan In A Day

For “old” readers of this blog, you know that I truly believe that every small business must have a business plan.

The statistics prove it – 80% of small businesses fail within 5 years of starting and of those, less than 10% had prepared a business plan. Businesses don’t plan to fail – they just fail to plan.

Without a business plan, no matter how expert you are in what you do, you will find that you work hard every day without getting any closer to where you want to go.

This is because, without a plan, you have no strategic direction and you have no priorities. Every decision you have to make becomes a time-suck because you have to think about what’s right and what’s wrong every time.

If you had a business plan, you would have your long-term goals established as your strategic direction, you would know what you had to achieve over time, you would know what you had to do next.

Every decision then becomes easy to make as you measure it against your strategic direction – “would this get me closer to my ultimate goal faster or not?”

With the goalposts clearly defined by the business plan and the plan’s detailed roadmap, you will know what is important to work at on a day-to-day basis, what to do, when to do it, and in what order.

No more “what do I do next?”

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