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Failing to Plan Means You Are Planning to Fail

The demise of many start-ups is in not having a plan for the future

By KenPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

December is the time of year when, as an entrepreneur, I had to schedule a block of my time to give serious thought to how I was going to grow my business in the new year. Experience taught me to block out the time on my calendar, just like it was a regular appointment, or face the consequences.

A great character and leader in our American history once said:

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

His heeding is not far off for the average entrepreneur. Dr. Steve Maraboli, a best-selling author, speaker, and radio host, put it a bit differently:

“If you don’t know exactly where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?”

Entrepreneurs should always be thinking about the future, how it might take shape and how to respond to that new shape to maximize every opportunity to grow the business.

Plan your work, work your plan

Every business needs a plan for its future. It should include lofty goals, along with the strategy and means to reach them. If the company is falling short of attaining the established goals, it should include action steps to get back on track.

Business plans should include flexibility to respond to any significant events that might happen throughout the year. Covid-19 and Omicron have tutored us to work differently, as well as to work in different environments.

If your business happens to be making masks for the Health industry, you were both lucky and unlucky — lucky for the extra business you hadn’t planned on receiving, but unlucky because you had no plans in place to increase mask production.

A mother and her baby at the edit-a-thon session in Nigeria — 17 April 2021 Source Author: OtuNwachinemere

Elona and her baby could be the “Poster Picture” for different work styles that were forced on employers nationwide. Who says you can’t care for a child and work hard at the same time?

This paradigm shift occurred all across the nation out of necessity. The shift is still happening. While most people have gone back to their brick-and-mortar establishments to work, a large part of America now works from home, or anywhere that offers free wi-fi.

Millions of people were caught off guard and did not have a backup plan in place for what to do when the country stopped working. Some may have had a contingency fund set aside so they could continue to pay their bills, but many of their neighbors and friends didn’t.

Let’s revisit the past for a moment

Think back to December 1st, 2020. Had you formulated a plan for 2021? Was it a comprehensive plan, or in bits and pieces? How did your forecasting work out in real life? What failed? What succeeded? What changes, if any, are necessary to make 2022 better than 2021?

Whatever answers you arrive at because of this exercise, this introspection, are for you and your key personnel to use to develop a better business plan for the new year.

Make sure you include these key employees as you plan because they may have an even better finger on the pulse of your business than you do and can provide insight about some minor, but very important details that will help your business, especially if you are an absentee owner.

To complete any race, you must hit the finish line. Take the time now to train yourself and your employees to hit the finish line ahead of your competition.

Thanks for reading this!

self help

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