Serious planning means fresh new starts

Serious planning for a fresh start

Having a bad week, month, year, or life?

Need to make a fresh start and expand your horizons, become a better person and enjoy life to the fullest? Is the pain you are suffering in your organisation becoming too much for you? Then perhaps it’s time to so some serious planning and even engage a planning facilitator to help you.

Perhaps it’s time to let go of the past and celebrate your life and your community with some new insights and a fresh start. Life is full of challenges, so what you need now are a breakthrough and a more positive direction. Never, ever give up on what is important to you and a good business plan will guide you, faster and safer than anything else.

Reasons for doing some serious planning

Planning is certainly not ‘old hat’ as some would have us believe.  If you are to survive in today’s very competitive world market, you must look at what the future is bringing to you and how it will impact on your business. Planning demands that you look at the future of your business.  There are however a lot of good reasons for doing some serious planning.

  • Set a future direction.
  • Improve your customer service, becoming more competitive.
  • Avoiding cash-flow crisis and the things that cause them.
  • Control the future risks and uncertainty.
  • Better control over the business.
  • Control growth while avoiding the problems associated with it.
  • Avoid inventory or purchasing crisis.
  • Ensure adequate work space becomes available.
  • Planning helps to prevent you from viewing the future in ways that the facts do not support
  • Planning significantly increases chances of success by focusing on what is important.
  • It is easy to be excessively optimistic about a new idea, planning brings in a degree of realism .
  • Serious-planning enables you to monitor your results, you become more results orientated.
  • Avoid a succession crisis.
  • And so on.

The need for outside advice

Serious planning enables you to recognise problems, frustrations, wants and needs that call for outside sources of information and assistance. Appointing external advisors provides you with objectivity and perspective, so often lacking when working alone. New knowledge and serious planning will unlock your potential,

Recognising change can be difficult when operating alone and in isolation.  The nature of markets and consumer needs change rapidly.  Planning cannot predict change but it helps you to recognise it and to mark out your business strategy accordingly. Good advice can help you to be better able to balance growth initiatives with reality.  Smaller businesses tend to either grow too fast for their capital base or too slow to maintain profits and cash flow.  Planned growth enables you to plan your capital needs in advance and to ensure that funds are available when you need them. 

Serious planning can clear your ‘mind traffic’, a good place to start

Find a place away from the grind, where you can relax, think, reflect and do some serious planning. Doing things differently could be your starting point for some serious planning and to leave your problems and frustrations behind.

Now, what’s holding you back? Firstly you will need to work through your frustrations and problems. You need to do this in order to focus on what is really important to you and be able to think clearly and not become bogged down with past baggage. Each scenerio will take you to a different place.

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Take time out to give your frustrated mind and body the break needed. Serious planning cannot take place when you are in a state of confusion. Make a list of the things that are holding you back, the roadblocks and barriers, the frustrations, the problems and the negative people you are associating with.

With those out of the way start a list of the things you are passionate about and would like to achieve. Stop occasionally and reflect on how you feel you are progressing. Running a business can sometimes be frustrating. But so are other things you don’t fully understand and many people are left behind when they are painfully close to success. Serious planning can start to put you back in control of your business and your life.

Behaviour is a key to serious planning outcomes

Serious planning requires positive behaviour. This begins by building a team of key individuals and stakeholders who are most involved with the organisation. Team members collaborate in multiple ways in order to develop, implement, and monitor the plans and their outcomes. When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to shine for you. To be able to shape the future you want, you have to be willing and able to change your current situation by doing some serious planning.

Proper planning will prevent poor performance. The collaborative process includes the following steps:

  1. WHO are the key stakeholders and individuals to be involved in the planning process?
  2. WHAT do you need to do to make this a successful collaborative experience for them?
  3. HOW are you going to promote the active participation of the team members?

Perhaps the One-Page Business Plan is your answer

Planning to do a Business Plan is not serious-planning. It is the planning process and the resulting actions that drive the outcomes you want, thinking about it just prolong the struggle. For some a good place to start the planning process is to prepare a One-Page Business Plan, It can be done quickly and easily adjusted as you move forward with the motivation coming from the process, just what you need.

Fit all the pieces of the business together

Serious planning helps to fit all the pieces of your business together. This helps it to runs smoothly and achieves what you want. You get a very rough ride with a flat tire on a car, not to mention having a wheel missing. Having your business Investor Ready could be your answer to stopping your struggle, once and for all,

Treat you plan like a skeleton

A plan is like a skeleton, it moves and adjusts to the requirements of the owner, it holds the ‘body’ of the business together. The Plan and the process of planning link together the various parts of a business and assists in adjusting the activities to the environment in which it operates. Business managers neglect it at their peril. Without serious planning, there is usually no direction, causing chaos, low productivity along with excessive stress on the people in it. There is very little, if any, creativity, innovation, enthusiasm and motivation without the serious planning input.

Without an up-to-date business plan, there is usually a blurred vision; wishy-washy objectives; poor strategies and no incentive to achieve. The business stagnates and dies, or goes from one crisis to another. This leads to a mediocre existence, with disgruntled staff and a lacklustre balance sheet. The business usually becomes a statistic within two to three years of starting up.

Most small business people receive no formal training on business planning. If they do it is generally planning as it applies to very large businesses and therefore very hard to relate to. There have been a lot of changes in the way serious planning is perceived and carried out by small business. Over the last two or three decades, the planning paradigm has changed quite dramatically. The book shops are full of do-it-yourself kits which generally rely on the business owner knowing what to do.  If the business owner knew what to do, they would already be doing it.

Does serious planning really work?

The best way to measure a business plan’s effectiveness, is by the decisions it causes and the outcomes it creates. Back in 1953, Yale University surveyed it’s graduating class and discovered that only 3% had written goals.  Twenty years later, Yale surveyed this same class and learned that the 3% who had written goals has amassed a net worth greater than that of the other 97% combined.  The moral of the story:

  1. Goals setting and planning works.
  2. Hardly anyone uses the technique.
  3. Wishes are goals with , snap crackle and pop.

Quotable quotes

Some of our favourite quotes about serious planning, still ring true today.

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”. Benjamin Franklin

“In order for your planning to be effective, it needs to be treated as an important aspect of your business”. Peter Sergeant

“Serious planning brings your future into play so you can manage it better”. Peter Sergeant

“Either you run the day or the day runs you”. Jim Rohn

“Serious planning is too hard doing it by yourself”. Peter Sergeant

“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago”. Warren Buffett

“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all”. Peter Drucker

“Not having a plan is like trying to build a plane in flight”. Peter Sergeant

“Your business doesn’t have a remote control, you have to do some serious planning and act on the changes”. Peter Sergeant

“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse”.  Jim Rohn

“One good idea can change your day, your business and your future, so let’s find one”. Peter Sergeant

“Any enterprise is built by wise planning, becomes strong through common sense, and profits wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts”. Proverb.

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