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The Importance of Planning
The problem with doing nothing is you never knowing when you are finished.
Doing the wrong thing can be worse than doing nothing.
I get it. Planning can be exhausting. Daunting even. But can you really afford not to plan?
The answer to that is simple. No, you can't afford to not plan. This goes for everything; business, marketing, social media, and your personal life. "Build it and they will come" was fine for 'Field of Dreams', but it about the worst strategy you could have for your livelihood. It is not enough to just exist.
Like I said, simple right? Well it is actually very complex too. You also can't afford to have a bad plan. A bad plan can be just as detrimental as having no plan at all.
It may not be exciting work, but it will definitely set you up for success. Knowing a) that you need one, and b) that value of a good one, is a good first step. By WHY do you need one and WHAT makes a good one?
A good plan will include what you want to accomplish (goals) and give you an idea of how to get there. Without this, you will just aimlessly wander and really have no idea what it is you are doing or why. While it is good to know where you have been and apply everything you’ve learned, it is equally, if not more important, to know where you want to go and how to get there.
Now that you have decided where you want to go, it is important to stay the course to get there. By staying focused on your objective and your goals, you will be in a better position to achieve them.
If you don’t know what you are trying to accomplish, how do you know what you need? Easy...you don’t. Planning will help you to understand what you need to get to your goal, how much of it you need, and where you need it. This will apply to human assets, physical assets, as well as monetary assets
The best plans will be for nothing if there is no accountability. If you are a sole proprietor, that means you. If you have staff, accountability will be spread amongst them. There are no guarantees for success, but there certainly are guarantees for failure. A lack of accountability would be number one on that list. Think of your plan as a contract with yourself, and your team, to accomplish what you want to do.
There are many more things that go into a plan, but this is a good starting point and covers some of the more important things that should be in a plan and why.
One other final piece of advice: don’t work in a silo. Even if you are a sole proprietor, bounce your ideas off someone. It’s human nature to have blinders on when it comes to our own ideas. This will make you not see any shortcomings of your ideas and ultimately your plan. As I said in my first post, there will always be something to learn. And the more you learn, the less you know. Seek help, advice, or just an ear. You’ll be better for it.