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Planning for Success

Business planning is widely acknowledged as one of the keys to business success. Yet there is still a great reluctance by small business owners in this area. This is despite the fact that it can be shown that fewer business fail if they have prepared a business plan.

The following are some of the reasons given for not planning:

  • We have done well so far, so how would a plan help us?
  • I'm too busy keeping up with what we are doing now.
  • What if an opportunity comes up that is not in the plan?
  • We're too small to worry about planning.
  • We can't plan because things change so rapidly.

The problems evidenced in businesses that fail to plan are:

  • Being taken unaware by changes in the economy or industry,
  • Being reactive, always putting out fires rather than solving the cause of problems,
  • Lacking focus, people in the business are not sure of their real purpose or objectives,
  • Lack of growth, repeatedly coming up against the same problem but never finding the solution,
  • Disorganisation, lack of time, inefficiency.
  • Most of these problems are actually the result of not planning.

A business plan can assist a business to make real progress, by:

  • Forcing you to set goals or objectives,
  • Determining the business' strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats,
  • Establishing priorities,
  • Finding solutions to ongoing and potential problems,
  • Helping you to become better organised,
  • Showing the way to be freed from day to day pressures.

It has been proved that businesses that plan are more successful than those that don't. The end result of the planning process is a business with:

  • A definite purpose, or "mission", understood by all employees,
  • Clear direction and objectives for the future,
  • An identifiable competitive advantage,
  • Well thought out strategies,
  • Well organised and efficient operations, and
  • Better chance of being successful in having consistent and controlled growth.

There are many business planning products on the market and many consultants who specialise in business planning. The benefits of creating your plan will far outweigh any costs. If you want to achieve greater success in your business, it won't happen by accident, or by continuing to do the same things that have got your business into its current state. You need to take some time out to look at your situation and to develop a plan to achieve the business you desire in the future.

(c) 2005 Greg Roworth, Progressive Business Solutions Limited

Greg Roworth is the Managing Director of Progressive Business Solutions Limited, a business development consultancy firm with branches in Wellington and Auckland, New Zealand. Greg has created a unique business development program that assists business owners transform their business from a state of total dependency on them to a state where the business works so well they don't have to.

Greg is also the author of "The 7 Keys to Unlock Your Business Profit Potential," which descibes the fundamental keys a business needs to achieve this transformation. Find out more, get 2 free chapters, or buy the book online at http://www.small-business-success.ws.

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