If you have ever wondered why the plans you have for your business aren’t working out, it may be because you are not planning for growth properly.
This month talking planning for growth in your business and I have designed process which has 5 components to it. In this post today I will be explaining the importance of these 5 components and will then use them as we go forward with the other topics during this months.
However, before getting into this framework, I think it is important to firstly talking about why planning is critical to the success of your business and then secondly why having a framework within which to work is important.
It is said that if you fail to plan, you have planned to fail. And most of us know this is true, however, the facts are that less than 10% of businesses have an active business plan which is regularly reviewed and consistently updated to reflect the current direction of the business.
Contrast that with research published in August 2016 which showed that only 4 out of 10 businesses will survive the first 5 years in business. That is of the 10% which survive their first year. And the reason?
Failure to plan or to use the plan effectively.
So while failing to plan is one thing, having an effective plan is an altogether different story. I can across a quote recently which said, ‘the aim of the plan is not to make our business bigger. It is to make our business better and our clients will demand we get bigger.’
Effective planning should cause us not only to be doing certain things at certain times, but also to constantly evaluate where we are, how we are doing and most importantly how we can make things better.
If we make it better, we will have people constantly knocking at our door, our client base will grow and the demand for growth will be inexorable. The conversation will have changed.
So now we have laid that foundation, when it comes to effective planning, there are many different options and methods we can use. Most of them have merit and will work, but it is important for proper, effective planning to have a framework in which to work. Why? Because by having a good framework helps you answer all of the question you will need to ask and answer.
Having an effective framework within which to plan will help you with the 2 critical components for success. Clarify and evaluate.
You see in business you need to come to work everyday, whether you work from home in your second bedroom and it is just you or have offices in the city and a bunch of staff, with the mindset that it can always get better. You can do better. If you have the assumption that this is as good as it gets, that is a bad sign and often a sign the end is near.
Clear planning which is correctly evaluated will give you this. In fact, making ‘it’, whatever ‘it’ is better, should be one of your core values in your business. This clarity around ‘it’ will help you create the edge in your market and keep your edge when all of your competitors are satisfied. It will make you unique in your market place.
Planning For Growth In Your Business
With that in mind, let me then introduce you to Built For Growth. The framework designed to ensure your business success.
In order for your business to become better and thereby growth, I talk about these 5 components. The first 4 are focused on clarity and number 5 is focused on evaluation. These 5 components should become the lens through which you look at your business and see success or failure and what to do about both.
Beginning with ‘why’ gives context to any planning. This is the driver which will keep you going when the challenges come and the darkness is dark. This is what you will hold on to when nothing seems to be working and you competitors seem to be forging ahead. It is said the bigger your why the harder you will fight for what you believe in.If you know why you are doing what you are doing, the challenges truly become your stepping stones. If you know why, you will always find a way around, over or under a problem.
In his book, ‘Start with why’, author Simon Sinek give some great examples of people and companies which have been driven by their why. From Apple and Toyota to the Wright Brothers and Harley Davidson.
So what is your ‘why’? Why are you doing what you are doing? Does your why feature in your planning?
Once you have your ‘why’ clear, you need to know ‘what’ you are doing? For a mature business, this may seem obvious, while for a new business, this may evolve over the next few months or even years, but the business environment is constantly changing and if you are not evaluating your what regularly, you could end up where the Sony Walkman ended its life.
When the markets need and want’s changed with the introduction of the iPod, Sony remained rooted to their claimed ground. They had the technology before Apple did. They even had the monopoly in the market and yet were wedded to their existing cash cow. Apple had changed the question and Sony did not want to supply the right answer.
This is where you develop the roadmap which will make you planning the success you want it to be. Without knowing where you are going, how will you be able to evaluate your position?
What are the products and services which will make the what real?
Who do you need to interact with? When do you need to interact with them? Who are your suppliers for example? When do they need to deliver?
Who do you need to bring into your business? When will you need them and what will they cost?
Who are the clients you need be doing business with? Many people do business with anyone, becoming all things to all people and in so doing sow the seeds for their demise.
The is about evaluation. The fact is you reach a goal but you experience a win. This is where it all becomes worth it. What is the result you want from whatever it is you are doing?
What are the small wins? When must these small wins happen? This will keep you on track to the big wins.
The win is only as good as the standard you set in the first 4. The standard you set in clarity of why, what, how and who will determine whether your evaluation is worth it or not.
Built for Growth is about making you and your business better so that growth is a consequence not a driver.
However, most people will never do these 5 things. Most people will never plan their business, project and daily success.
The reason? Its hard. It takes effort and commitment. Time and thought. You may need to take time out to sit back a have a good look. I always recommend getting an outside set of eyes to help you see the things you either can’t or don’t want to see. You may need to have some very difficult discussions with business partners, staff, associates or with yourself.
You may need to change the question altogether. Why are we here? OR Why do we exist as a business?
But once you have this done in every area of your business!! WOW.
So much can and will hang on these 5 components. Stop long enough to make a difference.
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