The Power of Planning: Work on, not in, your business

As many of you know, business coaches like to ask a lot of questions. So, as we approach this week's talk on the power of planning and keys to business success, I have some questions for you to think about:

  • What determines the success or failure of a business?
  • How many of you believe that the reason that companies in our community are closing is because of the economy? 
  • How many of those businesses planned for the economic downturn? 
  • How many of them had a business plan? Or a budget and volume projections? 

A US Department of Commerce study found that overall, only six percent of US business owners said they had a business plan. (My hat’s off to you if you’re in that planning group!) However, since only four percent of new businesses in the US survive over ten years, wouldn't it be great to know what they do differently to succeed? According to the Department of Commerce, 80 percent of business owners in this so-called four-percent club said they have a business plan and regularly follow it.

The first step of planning is to know that it will make a difference in your time management. The next step, as we teach our clients, is to start with a realistic daily calendar with default areas to work on, including various important but not urgent tasks. To identify these kinds of tasks, consider the following questions: 

  • What are the three core tasks that you could complete today that would drive your business forward? 
  • What actions offer the highest value and the best use of your personal time? For example, are you still picking up supplies from the office supply store? Could someone else to that or could you order supplies to be delivered?
  • What tasks can only you accomplish? Do you still believe that there are many things that only you can do? 
  • What do you excel at, which would make a difference in your business right now? (If you are the craftsman or relationship salesperson of your business, get out there and do it!)

Having and executing a plan with measured results is the single biggest difference in highly successful businesses. Studies have shown that developing a plan makes it easier to overcome procrastination, and one minute of planning can save you up to ten minutes on plan execution. 

If you spend a minimum of four hours working on your business plan, say in a Quarterly Planning session with a business professional, you could save 2,400 minutes of your life. That's 160 hours per year! What would you do with that time away from your business? Imagine what it would feel like if you knew exactly what you were supposed to do as soon as you arrived at work? Or had actionable, trackable steps you could take to achieve weekly or monthly goals? Plans will help you get there.

"Only Action gets you closer to your dreams - do something today that your future self will thank you for."


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