Business growth doesn’t occur accidentally. Reliable, dependable business growth occurs when small business entrepreneurs put emphasis on the importance of planning. In fact, minus consistent and regular planning, business growth is quickly stunted during the most critical stage of business growth and development – Core Business Development.
Stumbling Blocks to Planning
Entrepreneurs, by nature, are risk-takers and opportunity-makers. Devoting any importance to planning would suck the creativity and innovation out of their day. Even though planning is crucial to operating a successful business, many small business entrepreneurs view planning as busy work and a waste of time and energy. Subsequently, they advocate for ad hoc planning.
Ad hoc planning is improvised and impromptu. With no apparent forethought, ad hoc planning creates a lack of clarity and squanders precious resources such as time and money. Off-the-cuff planning pulls entrepreneurs off track. In most cases, small business entrepreneurs end up with very different and disappointing results.
Business changes quickly in the digital age and you need to be prepared. Your business needs to evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of your audience. By overlooking the importance of planning, your business can quickly become obsolete and irrelevant triggering a loss of clients to your competition. Is that a risk you're willing to take?
Planning Your Business Growth
Planning for business growth requires intentionality. Skills required for planning on purpose – keeping on top of things – not letting things fall through the cracks – moving your business forward strategically and intelligently - have changed over the years. Just as we upgrade our operating systems to keep our computers performing well, we also need to upgrade our planning skills.
Planning for business growth is not limited to strategic planning, although strategic planning is imperative for sustainable business growth. Planning for business growth needs to occur at four regular and consistent cycles:
- weekly, and
In fact, habitually planning your business growth is the core endeavor of any small business. It keeps you focused and on-track, saves you unnecessary effort, prevents decision fatigue, creates the right mindset, and spawns small wins that set up the craving for more wins. Additionally, it encourages better use of your resources, prevents burnout, and reduces your stress.
Don’t Pass Up Planning
Even the best of planning doesn’t account for the “unplanned” in business, however, the downside of the “unplanned” has much less of an impact on the outcome. Don’t wait for a crisis to occur before you develop the importance of planning for your small business.
Someone once said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail”. Although I don’t totally agree with that premise, one thing I know for sure, without adequate planning, you can count on unnecessary stress with business growth that is sluggish and fragmented.