The Biggest Impact on the Success of a Small or Micro Business is the Lack of a Business Plan
Leonard Bernstein once said:
To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.
Hearing that quote again today got me thinking about the thing I know has the greatest impact on the success of small and micro businesses: a PLAN. When you throw in another factor – TIME – you’ve got a recipe for trouble.
There not being enough hours in the day or too few days in a week to get everything done is the constant concern of small and micro business owners. I can hold my hands up to that because I am one of them.
What I cannot understand, however, is how many of those bemoaning the shortage of time don’t do any planning.
It’s one thing being short of time to complete a piece of work or having to re-schedule an activity or reassign priorities on a to-do list; quite another to have no idea about whether the time that is available is being used in the best way to achieve specific, desired outcomes because there is no fully formed idea of what those outcomes are in the form of an action plan.
To paraphrase a number of people I have spoken to; “I don’t need to write a plan, it’s all in my head”.
Really? I must say, I envy those people. What with having to remember everything from making an appointment for the cat at the vet through to do we need to buy dishwasher tablets at the supermarket via phone the guy to come and fix the washing machine it’s a wonder if my business gets a look-in in my head.
Or what about those “I don’t have time to write a plan” people. The ones who are so, so busy … making no money. [The definition of ‘busy work’!]
Planning is often seen as the thief of time – “I could be doing stuff if I wasn’t so busy here writing this plan”.
Yes, it does take time, and yes, I know that time is precious; but in a back to front way, taking the time out to plan saves you masses of time too. Planning allows you to proportion your activity into workable chunks, measure your achievement and celebrate your success.
So, with only 40% of small and micro businesses surviving past their fifth birthday, the one thing that you can do in the next 30-days that will dramatically improve your business is to write a business plan.
It doesn’t have to be an all-singing, all-dancing, off-to-the-bank-for-finance business plan; it can be a far more simple thing all together – just like my One Page Business Plan.
Go on, improve your business in the next 30 days, achieve great things – PLAN!