Planning is a constant need.
Planning is not just about the two-dimensional desk-based business plan that many see it as. It is about creativity and innovation. The more creative and innovative you are, underpinned by protocols, process and procedure, the more progress you’ll make. Planning your business is not a one-time deal, it is not a task to be avoided, or put at the bottom of the to-do list. Business planning, true business planning is a constant exercise and one that is always a work in progress; or at least it should be!
Business planning, for many, has lost its appeal; or is not seen as important enough to warrant the time investment by the majority of start-up, micro and small businesses. They are so busy chasing the results they desire, working in the business, that they have no time to work on the development of the very thing, the plan, that will give them the key to the door of the success they desire.
Later as the business starts to truly grow and make a real impact in its chosen market, business planning comes back into fashion and it takes its rightful place on the priority list of the leadership team. The truth is, more start-ups and micro businesses would experience greater success and quicker controlled growth if they were to spend more time on all the activities that underpin a really robust and executable business plan! Time spent on the process of business planning is never time wasted! Notice I specifically say time spent on the process. This is because as valuable as the written plan may be, it is the action of planning that truly makes the difference, to you, your mindset, your business and those around you.
Never underestimate the power of planning.
I believe many entrepreneurs and enterprising people underestimate the progress that can be made by working to a plan based on assumptions that have been tested during the planning process. Business is all about those leaps of faith you will no doubt be taking. If these leaps of faith are underpinned by robust planning that includes, by default, a process of testing the assumptions during the planning phase, then the results will reflect the extra investment made.
Where do you want your business to be? How do you want it to be seen by the outside world? You will ether be seen as one of many in your sector, of you will be seen exceptional. I am sure you agree being seen as exceptional rather than like everyone else, will make for a much more attractive and valued business to the outside world, assuming, of course that your assumptions are based on appropriate research.
Get your Business DNA front and centre.
There is nothing wrong with being one of many! As long as you’re willing to accept doing the same thing in the same way as everyone else is going result in you getting lost, to a certain extent, in the crowd. It is very difficult to get your voice heard when you’re in the middle of the flock making the same noise as all the other sheep! As Seth Godin says in his book of the same name, you should want to be the Purple Cow, how else can you stand out in a field full of brown cows?
What then is this fourth dimension I speak of? The first two dimensions are your technical skill and your vanilla plan for your business; get up go to work and deliver the technical skill you’re known for or have chosen. The third dimension, and still one that is not embraced by anywhere near enough people in start-up and micro-business has to be your business DNA and how you choose to use it. I am of course referring to your Vision, Mission and Values. Still largely misunderstood, misused, not used by the many!
These are not just something we talk about because it is fashionable, they are not some throw away statements that some stuffed suit said you need! They are not a set of mere slogans to advertise; they do not deserve to be placed in a forgotten draw or be used as a screen saver! They are the cornerstones of your business, your statement of intent and a window into the culture and personality of your business; or at least they should be! They should motivate and inspire the right actions from the right people all of the time, they should act as your navigation from where you are today, where you want to be tomorrow and the best way to get there, right now! They should be used to direct behaviour and focus If not you’re missing a trick in the progression of your business!
Build your fourth dimension, start today!
If we take it for granted that you have the first three dimensions in place, you have a skill, you have a plan and you have a true vision, in vivid full colour and high definition. You also have a clear and present mission to follow and you have your core values; values that you live by and illustrate in all that you do and say. Then we need to look to the fourth dimension.
The fourth dimension is all about the differential, the exceptional and we hope unique proposition you offer that sets you apart. this is harder to achieve and not for the faint of heart. However, the rewards are plain to see, there are many examples of businesses that have achieved and maintain a differential, and if done right the differential can be sustainable too!
Start your journey today, lean on our expertise and of course the expertise of our growing community. Start 2021 with a renewed emphasis on creating or maintaining your differential. Here’s a clue your differential should embrace creativity and innovation at its very core.