In a word, yes.
I know exactly one business person that I consider successful at small biz survival who had no plan. Now, he possesses way more than his share of innate good business sense. (Maybe that explains why some people have way less than their share.)
If you want to survive in the midst of decline, you must have a clear idea of where you are going. Otherwise, you will get pulled downhill with everything else around you.
General Guidelines For Goal-Setting and Business Planning:
Source: re:invention blog A Toolbox for Women-Led Businesses. ™
- Every business needs a planning process. EVERY BUSINESS.
- Begin with dreams and desire. You have to really want it. But realize that really wanting something to happen ain’t enough.
- The mere process of planning can become a management tool. “Each year you develop a plan, and each month you compare your actual results to the plan, you can note the difference between plan and actual performance.”
- Know your financial goals. Projected revenues and profits are the yardstick by which you can measure your business success.
- Know thy competition, understand your strengths and weaknesses, and identify your point of difference — for instance, re:invention leverages women’s credibility and empowers women but doing so requires us to razor through the nonsense crap. You want fluff and fairie dust? You won’t find it here.
- Commit yourself to your goals by writing them down. Lee Iacocca once said, “The discipline of writing something down is the first step toward making it happen.”
- Make sure your goals are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely).
- Visualize the dream. If you can’t picture yourself achieving it, chances are you won’t.
- Avoid the 3 Goal-Setting Traps: unrealistic goals, not being clear about the cost of attaining a goal, and not being willing to do enough work or pay the price to achieve the goal.
- Review your progress regularly and be flexible. Analyze yourself fairly if a goal is not being met. And assess what you can do differently. Goals can change over time. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set them.
- About the Author
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.