• How the Heck Did I Get Here?

    How the Heck Did I Get Here?

    One of the biggest mistakes I see in business is a lack of planning.  Everyone is really good at setting goals however, they do it as though they were shopping … I want ________, and I’ll take _______.  And then expect for it to magically appear, just because they stated it as a goal.
    How disappointed they must be when it doesn’t happen?
    “There are three kinds of companies – those that make things happen, those that watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened.” – Anonymous
    Do you know where your company is going? What will your business be like in three years? Will you be a few steps closer to realizing your vision? No one can predict the future. But if you don’t change anything, will the future be any different than the past? Probably not. But one sure-fire way to impact your company’s future (and profitability) is to dust off an old tool – the Strategic Business Plan. 
    Just because you don't like doing something doesn't mean you don't have to do it.

    Why make mistakes with real money and real customers?  That’s what you could potentially do you when you shoot from the hip without a plan.
    Yes, I know what you’re thinking.  We plan and then on day one something happens that makes the plan obsolete but does that mean you stop planning?  NO!  It just means that you continuously need to gather intelligence and adjust accordingly.  That’s why a plan must be a working document, something that you refer to as you go about your business.  The plan is like a road map but a little different than in the past.  Today it needs to have GPS.  With GPS the plan becomes alive, fluid and relevant!  It should assist you and guide you towards your destination.
    How do put GPS into your plan?  A GPS requires continuous and constant information, gathering changes and collecting intelligence.  Then it adjusts or “re-routes” accordingly.  You know, haven’t you heard your GPS tell you; “recalculating”?
    • Plan for contingencies, the “what if” scenarios.  What do you think the military does?  It’s competitive out there and you’re doing battle every day for the business you get, right?  Do you think the military has time to create alternate scenarios on the battlefield?  Do they throw away the strategic thought process just because “things might change”?  Absolutely not, it’s for that very reason that they do plan! 
    • How will you manage “the plan”?  You must have a system in place and reports don’t count.
    • Another part of the plan is forecasting.  Are you looking into the future?  Are you practicing the art of being proactive?
    • Focus on the big picture, the results and how you will overall achieve.  Don’t worry about the wallpaper and drapes.
    • Execute and Evaluate!  Your strategy will be a waste of time if it’s not implemented and evaluated, CONSISTENTLY.  So many of us do an annual plan and that’s it, ring the bell, finished that task!
    Strategic planning should be a process that is ongoing and never-ending, changing as your market changes.  When you have a clear plan and can take appropriate action, you can go where you want to go.
    Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.
    Thomas A. Edison 


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