When I first read this article several years ago, it deeply resonated 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 work. 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:
Structure the plan
This is where you’ll plant the seed for your business. Once you have a 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.
Document the plan
Plans kept in your head, or another person’s head aren’t helpful. Allow yourself to free your mental real estate by writing out your ideas. Only when you distill your ideas into a document can these ideas be understood and added to by others.
Commit to the plan
Even well-structured and fully documented plans grow stale quickly. Every business leader quickly learns that 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 website 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.
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