I have a plan in my head…I know what I want to do…I know what I need to do…So why is it so important to have a plan?
That all sounds good, but you can’t stop there. An idea without a plan is just that—an idea.
The Value of a Plan
A plan identifies your short-term and long-term goals, whether it relates to launching a new product or service, rebranding, or pivoting your business model. Whatever the reason, a strategic plan will set the priorities of your business and provide direction on how you will achieve those goals.
When you want to get to the mall, you identify and plan your route based on traffic and road work before starting your journey. The same goes for strategic planning: determine where you want to go, how you will get there, what are the potential roadblocks, and how will you mitigate these challenges. Once you’ve created your roadmap, make your move!
Knowing where you are going and how you will get there takes the stress out of the journey. Completing tasks will not feel as overwhelmed when you’ve organized what needs to be accomplished. As you are creating your plan, be sure to set deadlines through your route. This will ensure you stay on track, hold yourself and others accountable, and keep you motivated as you accomplish small goals on the way to your big goals. For more details about time management, see my Top 5 Tips to Manage Your Time as a Creative Entrepreneur. (Link to article)
Putting Your Plan Into Action
The most important part of creating a strategic plan is the implementation. A plan is no good to anyone sitting on the shelf looking cute. A common mistake made by business owners is to launch a new product or service without the proper planning and then they wonder why they are not successful. It is so important to have operational, financial, marketing and strategic plans as they all serve as roadmaps to guide you along the way. Without them you will be going along lost, unfocused and will lose a lot of time and money by not properly planning for what you will do with your time and money. Actually taking the step to properly plan and to follow that plan is the only way to make it to your destination.
You do not have to be afraid of change. Be open to pivoting the plan when a goal or business model no longer serves your business. The structure of a plan exists to help you navigate your goals. If it’s becoming a hindrance, go back to the drawing board and create a path that better fits your current situation.
“A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.” – Greg Reid.
If you need help with the planning process, we can work together to review your current processes and develop and implement a strategic plan for operations, marketing and revenue growth.