It sometimes seems me that the mere mention of the word planning is enough to elicit negative responses. In truth, it’s an area of life that’s often associated with boredom and a feeling that it should be avoided at all costs.
Just as this may be true in terms of our personal lives, so we see the same aversion to planning being carried over into working lives. I would not suggest that we all hate the activity, but it’s clear that many of us struggle. Do we really want to be spending endless hours writing business plans? Will anyone ever read them, or even refer to them?
The planning process
One of the problems here is that planning is often seen in isolation. Once it is separated from the rest of the core roles within a business, it loses all sense of meaning. There often seems to be a decision made, between working in a productive manner and seeking to plan for the future. In reality, however, these two processes should go hand in hand.
As a business owner, you know that you will always be thinking about what may be round the corner. Even though you may well be enjoying good times right now, there is always that fear about what happens when the new clients start to dry up. How will you handle that situation?
By setting out a clear strategy, you should be able to give yourself a certain level of comfort. You can outline a long-term approach that will cover all aspects of the business, from preferred marketing techniques to dealing with cash flow issues. Once you have that strategy in place, it’s simply a matter of ensuring that you take care to implement it correctly.
Drawing up that initial plan may feel a little dull, but you need to remember that it is time well spent. You will be plotting a course for success, which should enable you to really drive the business on.
Alternative options for your business
It’s also worth considering the alternatives that are available to you. For instance, you might think that you could do better by simply taking decisions when they are needed. This is an approach that may work for a period of time, but it’s really a case of asking for trouble.
You need to have the answers in place before challenges arise and questions are even asked. Whether you are thinking about building a team of motivated individuals, or seeking finance options, you need to know what is required at all points.
Keith Barrett knows that Decisive Mediation and other specialists are able to step in when problems arise. He has collected a list of useful contacts, so that he is prepared for all circumstances.