We are at the mid-point in the year. How well are you meeting your business plan goals? What—you don’t have a business plan? You think that it’s too late to create a business plan?
If the words business planning turn your blood to ice, intimidates you, or if you just feel it is unnecessary, you may be missing some great opportunities to grow your business.
Why You Need to Plan
Two major factors—globalization and technological innovation—have affected all businesses and make business planning more important than it ever has been. These factors have flattened our world creating new competitive pressures and new opportunities to grow our companies. Technology has enabled small businesses to level the playing field and be effective competitors to larger corporations.
Business planning allows you to see the big picture and help you deal with the uncertainty in the marketplace. But when should you institute a business planning process in your firm? In an article in INC magazine Steve Harris of the People Advantage cites specific times that you may need to begin this process. If you are:
- Unhappy with your business results.
- Seeking funding or considering making substantial investments.
- Planning a major expansion of your staff.
- About to step back from day-to-day involvement and need to shift decision making to others.
- Making bets about how your company will grow.
Planning Can Alleviate Overwhelm
Whenever you have doubts it is time to begin planning. “It’s better to be challenged with the process because you’re a little early, versus needing a strategic plan you don’t have,” states Harris.
I will add that when you are overwhelmed or scattered, that is the time to begin planning to ensure that you have prioritized effectively and are focused only on those activities that will help you reach your goals. Too many times we are doing “busy” work and not focusing on the activities that will grow our business.
If handled effectively, the business planning process can provide a number of benefits for your business. It is a motivating factor for all members of the company, it ensures that everyone is informed of the firm’s mission and goals and increases the probability that objectives set will be met. All great reasons to begin a planning process for your business.
So what’s stopping you!
Diane Weklar, the Authority on Accelerating Business Growth, is the CEO of the Weklar Business Institute. She is the author of the award winning book, Mastering the Money Maze: 10 Secrets to Winning Business Financing,which is also an Amazon #1 Best Seller. This book provides practical insight to build a successful business and the practical steps to raise capital to help your firm grow. She can be reached at Diane@Weklar.com.