Not a superior athlete, outstanding coach, or effective teacher has crossed my path who did not have a plan. While some started just with an idea, and others with a grand vision, each of these people had a workout plan, an offensive or defensive plan, or a lesson plan. Similarly, the truly successful, confident and organized business leaders who were prepared for growth and change had a business plan.
Everyone mentioned succeeded with a plan…not because of a plan, or in spite of a plan, but with a plan…with the right plan for them.
Business plans, like personal approaches, are not one-size fits all, and creating a plan for the sake of having one is likely to drive a bit of confidence and raise some awareness, but it is just a plan.
Brian Tracy shared “A clear vision, backed by definite plans, gives you a tremendous feeling of confidence and personal power.” I agree. Yet, without direction, focus, and real (read as realistic) numbers, no matter how carefully written, a business plan is just a slew of words and numbers.
There are a lot of steps in a business plan. Knowing your customers, your products, developing budgets, strategies and approaches, but the one thing that gets talked about very little is the unwritten part of the plan…the action. For a plan to work, it must be a living document that is current, appropriate and adds value to the overall business. The ideas shared and goals/figures projected must be worked, acted upon and realized.
Peter Drucker said 1 hour planning was worth 3 hours of doing” and that is true for creating the plan…and then the doing must be done! If you do not have a business plan, consider starting one, and if you have one, dust it off and review it for the purpose and usefulness. Plans, like people and businesses can and should be updated in order to keep serving itself and others well!