In an article published by The Globe and Mail, Jon Umstead proposes that running your business from a documented plan will increase your odds of success by 30-50%. He further states that business leaders who learn how to be better planners not only improve their own business and personal success, but they can collectively change economic growth throughout the country. This article is worth a read. See link at the end.
When I first read this article several years ago, it stuck with me. I knew from my own business experience and from chairing a CEO peer group, that documented plans, along with a commitment to an ongoing planning process, really works. I’m now on a quest to help business leaders everywhere be more successful through better planning.
Here are three things to consider when business planning:
• Structuring the plan
This is the starting point. Once you have clear picture of what information to include in the plan, and what isn’t necessary, this work can go quickly. With a solid structure, it’s simply a matter of adding content. And content can be easily changed and revised over time using the same structure.
• Documenting the plan
Plans kept in your head, or another person’s head, aren’t helpful. Only when you distil your ideas onto a document can these ideas be understood and added to by others.
• Committing to planning
Even well structured and fully documented plans grow stale quickly. Effective planning is a continuous process. It requires discipline to stick to a review schedule with so many competing demands on your time. Take a break, check on your progress, celebrate your achievements and reset priorities for the next quarter.
Over the past few years, we developed a structure for planning in business that makes this task relatively easy for any size business at any stage of growth. We are also compiling resources about planning on our web site (PlanGenie.com). If you have any great tools that you have used successfully, or insights, or questions on this topic, I would love to hear from you.
If you are already on the planning “bandwagon”, please share this message with others. Let’s get the economy going again.