Business planning, how to fall in love with it
Many people spend more time planning their holidays than they do on creating an effective business planning for their business. The concept of falling in love with business planning never crosses their mind.
However, the more attention you put into the process of business planning, like any other relationship, the greater the positive feelings about what it is and what it can do for you. If you’ve ever been in love, you know the feelings. And if you have ever created a business plan that made a business function well all day every day. You also know how it lights your emotions and increases your energy to keep on keeping on. You know how it makes your outlook brighter and how good it makes you feel about yourself. Confidence goes up, action orientation goes up, and outcomes are more readily achieved.
Business owners are often too focused on things like the day-to-day operations of their business. Rather than planning their time and resources such that they will address their problems and frustrations and make the business grow sustainably. It’s understandable, and probably effective in the short term, but not a great long-term plan. Many business owners fail to plan simply because they become too busy and struggling becomes the norm.
Falling in love begins with a spark, a ray of hope, or it can be caused by a major disruption in your life or business. It could be the way somebody looks when they are communicating with someone or the way someone moves across a room. Whatever it is, there is an initial spark that starts the fire burning in your heart. Believe it or not, you can have a similar experience with business planning is you take the time to understand the concepts and the processes.
Action makes things happen
When you’re falling in love, paying attention to the detail will start to provide you with the enthusiasm and the motivation to keep going. The more awareness you bring to the potential of the relationship the better. The more excited you will become about the possibilities opening up along with the potential outcomes.
During business planning, many forget about the spark, or the feelings when they last planned something well. They want their relationship with planning, to provide instant gratification without much action. Of course, the time frames, or planning horizons are usually longer term. The initial spark doesn’t need to be dramatic, it just has to start you taking action and to keep taking action.
Doing a Business Health Check could be a good place to start. It can more clearly identify your strengths and opportunities and crystallise your actual weaknesses and possible threats. You will find that when you clearly understand your weaknesses and threats they are not as bad as you thought they were. Certainly not enough to justify all the worrying time you have been putting in.
Now you are in a far better position to make your future unfold, or to complete some important projects. You are also better placed to take the most appropriate actions. Particularly on the things that are important to you and will have the biggest positive impact on your future. Ain’t love grand.
Make a commitment to business planning
In any maturing love affair there comes a time when you need to commit and you usually have to make a leap of faith to do it. There will be things you just can’t know for sure. There will probably be some ma=istakes that will slow your progress. However, it is the mistakes that will be your best teachers.
But without a commitment and being accountable for your business planning efforts, no real relationship will emerge and your struggles will continue.
Making commitments means sticking with a reasonably appealing business planning process and being willing to work through problems. Choose to not only trust the process you decide to run with, but also to devote yourself to making it succeed.
Step out of the daily grind, step out of your comfort zone by using business planning to give you a whole new outlook on your life and on your business.
Change the conversations you have about business planning
It goes without saying that you need to change the conversations you have about planning. But, as in a love affair, for best outcomes you need to have new conversations and conversations with people who can help you with your planning assignments. Focus on positive conversations with an expectation that doing so will bring about the outcomes you want.
To fall in love with planning, you need to spend some quality time with it. Enough time to get familiar with the various business planning concept and the processes involved. You may have to date a few different styles of planning before you find the one that best suits your needs. Keep your business plan simple in the first instance you can get more complex as you learn more. The last thing you want to become bogged down in detail.
So don’t throw up your hands when the first method you try doesn’t work, learn from it. Have plenty of conversations about what you did well and what needs improvement. Be as persistent and creative as you would be in looking for and nurturing the love of your life
Make your business planning relationship exciting
The passion goes out of long-term relationships because the partners forget to feel the love. They take each other and the pleasure of each other’s company for granted. They stop delighting in the little things that are starting to make a difference, and they let negativity creep into the relationship.
The way to feel the love in your relationship with business planning is to notice and celebrate increments of progress and success. These come about by being action orientated. Don’t be one of those people who gets all excited about completing a business planning document and then promptly puts in the drawer. And then goes about maintaining the status quo.
You make your relationship with business planning magical when you infuse the everyday parts of the plan with creativity, and commitment. The more attention you put into the implementation process, the more you will learn and the better your organisation will go.
The best part of having a loving relationship with business planning is seeing your business thrive without the struggles of the past. Another big benefit is, you will be having more time and money to do the things you want with your family and friends. You get your business working for you not you working for the business.
The key to a powerful love affair is relevance. You must be able to discern a clear link between the items on your action plan and the achievement of your purpose, vision and objectives that you have agreed upon. Short and concise beats long and waffly every day of the week and using good metrics will help to keep you on track.
“In order to fall in love with planning, and for it to be effective, it needs to be treated as an important aspect of your day-to-day business”. Peter Sergeant
“One good quote or planning tip can change your whole day, your business and even your whole life”. Peter Sergeant