How many people would choose to build a house without a set of plans to work from? How many people choose to build a business without a business plan to work from?
I am in the process of building a chalet in the Alps. I would never think of starting this project without a comprehensive set of plans. In order to create the plans I had to have an initial vision of how I wanted our home to look like. I had to be able to articulate my desires and wishes to an architect who was then able to translate what I wanted into a drawing.
Having plans of how to achieve what I want is crucial for building the chalet. Without the plans the builders would have no idea what they were trying to create. No one would be aligned and everyone would be doing their own thing. Inevitably building the chalet would take significantly longer to complete and with no plans who knows what the finished chalet would look like. Certainly nothing like I had planned and it would be simply luck if I liked it or not.
This example sounds ridiculous but lets take a look at the process of building a business. In many ways this is similar to building a house. You have to start by putting the foundations in place before you start a business – what product are you going to sell, to whom, where for what price. Once the foundations are in place it is possible to build the business from here. By putting the external structure in place, by connecting up to the networks that will supply the business, create the space for people to work in and to grow the business level by level.
Very surprisingly though only 4% of businesses have a clear plan of what they are trying to build. With no plans employees have no idea of what they are trying to build. There is no team alignment and very often poor communication within the organisation.
Whilst planning is simple it certainly isn’t easy. If it was, more businesses would have a business plan. Thinking about what you want takes time and requires the space to be able to do it. It is too easy to dismiss the time taking for planning as a “waste of time” as things are getting done in the business. However this is short sighted as too often business leaders get caught up in working “in” the business rather than “on” the business. Having a plan is critical to knowing where you are heading.
Taking the time to step back and view the business from a different perspective can help to change how you see things and lead to innovation and efficiency within a business
Having a plan can help to create a clear direction for the company and help you feel more in control. If you have a plan it becomes the tool for focusing on what to do next, what the priorities are, and how to keep everyone aligned.
So do you have a plan for where you are heading?
If you don’t have a clear business plan and would like help to create one, please contact me for a free strategy consultation