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It has been my observation that the vast majority of small to mid sized business owners and professionals, consider planning to be their ability to successfully make it through the next pay period or month end or for that matter through another year.
While they all know that companies plan they believe that they are too "small" to spend time on a formal planning process.
Additionally they are uncertain as to the mechanics of planning and the benefits to be derived from pursuing such a process.
As a result planning remains something they would like to do, but they are unclear as to how to do, and as to whether or not planning is something they ought to do.
They believe that the time required to deal with each day's business challenges all but eliminates any time they could make available for planning.
They recognize that they are intelligent; competent and exceptionally capable and believe that these "skills" alone will carry the day in any and all circumstances.
The result being business as usual, planning as you go, re-active planning as opposed to pro-active planning.
"Businesses never plan to fail they typically fail to plan.
" While there is no doubt that this is a form of planning there is also no doubt that this method is filled with uncertainty, wasted time, money and most importantly lost opportunities.
Research clearly indicates that those who plan are far more likely, not only survive but to actually prosper, and that the best way to predict the future is to create it, having a plan and working your plan is far more effective then leaving your future to chance.
"If you don't know where you are going then any road will get you there.
" Running a business without a plan is like driving from New York to San Francisco without a road map.
While you know, leaving New York that you need to travel west, only through the use of a map will you be assured of reaching your destination in a timely and efficient manner? Planning extremely important or overrated - it up to you..
An effective planning process identifies opportunities, resources, develops strengths, and clarifies market position and competitive capabilities.
It provides a clear and concise understanding as to where the company is and where it wants and needs to go.
Most importantly it provides a series of simple actionable and measurable steps (road-map) that will enable the company to achieve its desired results in a timely and efficient manner.
Developing a strategy, a vision, a mission and a specific plan of action is vital to long-term sustainable success.
If implemented correctly, it will fuel continuously higher levels of achievement and prosperity.
Planning is a collaborative process a process that takes the entity through a series of deliberate and thought provoking exercises designed to challenge all involved.
In effective planning everything and anything is up for consideration and evaluation.
It is by its very nature work, with the outcome directly related to the time and effort put into the process.
While planning in and of itself will not guarantee success or prosperity.
Planning measurably increases the odds, of achieving long-term sustainable success.
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