Have you written a business plan? A marketing plan? Done a SWOT analysis?
Have you put your vision and mission into words and pondered your strengths and weaknesses?
Have you laboriously studied your competition and put together a marketing strategy?
Have you spent hours on cashflow projections and forecasts, trying to convince yourself and investors that the business you have is going somewhere?
These days it appears that the answers to these questions are completely irrelevant.
Unless you are trying to raise money from a bank, the traditional business plan has been (at least temporarily) thrown out of the window. Nevertheless, one thing remains true: failing to plan is planning to fail.
Running a business without a plan is like driving around an unknown country without a map. You could have some amazing adventures, or you could end up in some significantly bad situations.
While you do not have to spend days perfecting a business plan that no one but yourself is every likely to see, make sure you DO spend some time answering the following for yourself:
- Why do you do what you do?
- How can you do it better?
- Where do you want to be?
- How can you get there?
If you can get the answers to these questions down on paper, then even if it is one single piece of paper, you have a plan. This plan is your map and it will help you navigate the extremely hazardous territory of business building. You need to make sure your map is clear and you need to be willing to adapt it constantly in order to keep on course to your final destination.
I know you are busy. There isn’t a small business owner out there who doesn’t feel like they need more hours in a day. But make it part of your daily morning ritual to take your plan out, remind yourself why you are there and where you want to be and to choose your daily tasks in such a way that they implement the plan. It doesn’t need to take more than ten minutes a day, but those ten minutes will keep you excited about your business and make sure that you stay on track to reach your goals. Those ten minutes of planning will translate into a lifetime of success, NEVER fail to plan!