How long have you been in business? A few months? A few years? A few decades?
If you’ve been in business more than a few years, I have a question for you:
When was the last time you scheduled an entire day (or two) for planning, strategizing, and big thinking?
My bet is, it’s been a while, right?
And if the answer is never, brace yourself!
I was reading a great article in Inc. Magazine recently. The article’s author, Thomas Goetz, asserts in Making a Plan to Plan: “Planning ahead is among an entrepreneur’s most essential responsibilities.”
Another smart dude, Stephen Covey (author of First Things First) and co-creator of the brilliant Franklin Covey planners (remember those?), created a matrix to help someone decide if something is urgent or important and how to prioritize effectively.
Most often, I see business owners focusing exclusively on the urgent at the expense of the important.
Planning time to plan gives you power, control, and perspective. Actually using the time you carved out is a whole other story.
Mostly what happens is a business owner says, “Okay, I’m going to carve out one day next week…maybe on Friday…to do some forecasting and strategic planning for the next year.”
And the week flies by, the urgent feels overwhelmingly urgent, and this important planning falls by the wayside. Friday comes and goes and all the owner feels she can do is shrug her shoulders (because truthfully, this isn’t the first time this has happened, right?).
Making time to plan is most successful when include at least one other person. It could be a team member who thinks strategically; it could be a business partner (if you have one); it could be a business coach (ahem…); and/or it could be a group of other business owners (like a mastermind, consortium, etc.).
The point is, when I see business owners trying to make time for planning, lots of other urgent-feeling stuff inevitably gets in the way.
And by not making time, you’re actually hurting your business – and yourself! You’re not focused on anything resembling a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). You’re not asking good questions about the business. And most importantly, you’re missing out reflecting on how YOU are being in your business.
I implore you to make the time to plan.
And treat that commitment seriously.
I’ve loved my two most recent VIP days with two very successful business owners. They now have the know-how and strategies to delegate more effectively, can begin focusing on incomplete or missing operational systems, and can strategically take their businesses to another (better or different) level which is more in alignment with how these business owners want to work.
When you’re ready to dig in, I can help.
Make Some Room,
P.S. Want to schedule a VIP Day with me? I’d be delighted. Click here to apply. I have three spots available for 2014 and will begin a waiting list for 2015.