Were you unhappy with your business results in 2017? Maybe you didn’t grow as much as you hoped, or grew so much that it felt a bit out of control. Or, perhaps you’re burned out and need help reigniting the passion you once had for your business. If any of these sounds familiar, it’s definitely time to do some planning.
Let’s be clear – despite common misconceptions, a business plan doesn’t have to be a long, formalized document. It can be as simple as writing down your biggest goals, defining how to measure success, and outlining how you might be able to get there. And, it can involve just you, key members of your staff or the whole organization. It’s up to you.
Here are just a few benefits of planning and why it’s key to your business success and personal motivation:
Writing down your business goals allows you to think through and prioritize your key areas of focus for the year. It will also help you articulate your vision to employees thus establishing a sense of excitement and camaraderie around shared goals.
When deciding on your long-term and short-term business goals, it’s important to strike a balance between aggressive and realistic. Trying to do too much could result in failure, but doing too little could dampen excitement around the new year, or even hinder growth.
Another thing planning helps with is allocation of resources. Goals cannot be achieved without the people to do the work and the tools to help those people succeed. By considering resource efficiency in your business plan, you’ll be able to maximize productivity and increase your chances of success.
All businesses are at risk. Financial, legal, fraud – whatever the case may be, it’s essential to plan ahead. Envisioning these what-if scenarios and creating contingency plans to respond to them means you won’t be forced to make last-minute or emotionally charged decisions if they do arise. This can also help your employees feel more secure about the future of the business and more confident in your management.
A large part of running your business is leading your employees. By establishing goals, defining success, and creating an action plan, it’s clear what’s expected of them. Not to mention, evaluating employees based on the goals they achieve is a much more effective way to manage performance compared to other non-quantitative measures.
The Bottom Line
There’s a lot to consider when managing the different aspects of your business. From resources, to employees to financials, the best way to ensure success is to establish a plan. Not only will business planning lead to better management by helping you define a clear focus, but it will help to allocate resources, mitigate risk, and establish employee accountability.