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I said in my previous blog (Business Planning…has Been Broken) that business planning is important but it’s been broken. I’ve shown you how it has been badly broken. Let me now share why business planning is important.

There are five reasons why you should consider business planning, not only as important, but as an absolute critical management activity.

1)  Clarify and achieve the future you believe in

Would you not want to clarify and achieve the future you believe in? If I tell you that, with just the completion of a Vision Statement, I have seen the future of a business become clearer, richer, more focused, and more compelling, would you not want to share in that experience too?

2)  Make better quality decisions

There is nothing radical with the idea that a business owner will make better quality decisions in a planned environment. I’m certain that if you are convinced that business planning can be easy and fast, then you’ll acknowledge that you will make better business decisions with fewer knee-jerk reactions and less helter-skelter marketing ideas, and you will actually launch some of your amazing ideas in a consistent manner.

3)  Identify and focus on the major few, not the many minor priorities

Perhaps this benefit of business planning is similar to making better quality business decisions above, but we, as business owners, spend too much time below the important horizontal line, doing at worst, completely unproductive activities, or at best, fire fighting.  In a typical time management graph with axis of Important and Urgent, you can’t work above the important horizontal line without defining what is important to your business. Strategies and Action Plans? You don’t know these things on the fly; they have to be carefully considered. You need a planning process to identify them, connect to them, and hold yourself accountable to implement them.

Moreover, when you do get pulled off track (and we all have and we all will continue to be), we need a planning process to bring us quickly back to the activities that truly matter and will make a difference.

4)  Be a great strategist as well as a great tactician

As business owners we are all great tacticians, which we have learned from the day-to-day operation of our business. From the long, hard hours we spend in the Urgent/Unimportant time management quadrant doing our fire fighting, we learn how to fix things, and fix them again, and again and again.

Great strategist? Not so much. In fact, most business owners I meet don’t even know what a strategy is. Why would they? Very few of them have been in the role of Vice President, Senior Vice President, Executive Vice President, President, or CEO in a large corporate organization. The job description of those kinds of roles is rarely about tactics. They are 80% about strategy. They are about developing strategies for front-line staff to tactically engage in.

Being a great strategist is critical because it is through the development of strategies that you can truly differentiate yourself from your competitors and earn ever increasing revenues even in challenging economic times.

5)  Build a business based on continuous improvement

What is the relationship between the expression ‘status quo’ and ‘business success’?

The answer is—there is no relationship. They are mutually exclusive. You can’t achieve status quo with your business and continue to be successful. If you are doing the same old same old and achieving the same results, your business is already in decline. You just don’t know it yet. Your competitors are coming after you. The outcome of their continuous improvement initiatives just haven’t shown up in your market share yet. But they will.

Engage in business planning and therefore continuous improvement through strategic development and implementation and you will win market share and experience greater financial success through focus on the right activities.

So Business Planning is IMPORTANT but it has been BROKEN. It can be EASY, FAST, SUSTAINABLE and entirely PRACTICAL.

WHAT’S THE NEXT STEP?

James Burgess, Focus31, CHAOS- FREE Business Planning1.You can find out more about what a business plan is and its importance with the international best-selling book CHAOS; How Business Leaders Can Master the Power of Focus. Get your FREE copy HERE

2. Use our FREE business planning program FOCUS Yourself; A 7 Module Business Plan Program. This is not a business plan template, it is a full business plan that is EASY and FAST, making your plan SUSTAINABLE and entirely PRACTICAL. Start your business plan NOW

3. Not sure why you need a small business plan? REGISTER for a FREE FOCUS Discovery Consultation where you will talk business, your business, with international best-selling author James Burgess

4. Challenge yourself to FOCUS Your Business In Just 30-Days and learn how to build a business that will THRIVE not just survive with our FREE webinar HERE.

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