17 Nov Why Business Planning is so Hard and 4 Reasons to Start Now
Where were you last quarter in your business? If it is hard to come up with a firm and clear answer…I am not surprised. Staying focused on your goals and plans – if you have them – is usually one of those New Year’s resolutions that rarely make it to February.
So, starting out the year with some solid goals for your company and a plan to support those goals is certainly a first positive step. But there is a lot of time stretching between January and December.
So much can happen in a week, a day – even an hour! How in the world can you plan ahead an entire year and make it stick?
The bottom line is – you can’t. As human beings, we have a natural proclivity for procrastination.
That’s why a quarterly plan is the smart way to accomplish goals. It’s a big enough chunk of time to actually produce measurable and valuable results. It’s a small enough chunk of time that allows for some flexibility to adapt to a rapidly evolving economy where technology is morphing on a weekly basis.
The truth is: with effective planning, you can achieve more in one quarter than most businesses can in an entire year.
Here’s why you need to commit to quarterly planning
1. Planning ahead for an entire year is extremely difficult.
365 days is a long time in the business world. It’s difficult to achieve annual goals without smaller manageable chunks or tasks that include measurement and assessment strategies. A quarterly plan will focus your larger goals into smaller, more achievable chunks.
2. Business trends vary from week to week.
Competition changes, the economy swerves. Is your current plan flexible? What if the technology you are currently utilizing changes next month? Quarterly plans allow you to step in and change focus both when and where it’s needed.
3. It keeps all team members on board.
In the beginning of a new year, it is relatively easy to create an aura of excitement – a buzz – about what the upcoming year will bring with it. Being human, it is easy to fall off the wagon a bit as time drags on. Quarterly plans can keep that momentum from going stale, keeping your staff – and any outside contractors – energized long-term.
4. It helps with time management.
Not only does quarterly planning summarize your goals, it aids with trimming them into bite-sized tasks that can be listed, delegated, scheduled, and completed. Time management becomes an integral part of your planning process; it helps assure that each sub-goal can be accomplished in the time frame you decide upon.
Bonus. It will deliver better results.
As a seasoned business coach, I can certainly tell you that the consistent utilization of quarterly planning is one of the best business tools you can employ, and I will guarantee your overall business results will be better.
Planning takes practice, so don’t ever let yourself become discouraged. The more times you plan and execute a quarterly planning initiative, the better you will get at it. And with that planning come motivation, forward movement, and accountability…all keys to accomplishing a successful business year.
And 90 days from now, you will see why!