The Truth about Planning

Aim at nothing and you’ll hit the target every time. BUSINESS AXIOM
A number of people have confessed they’re still struggling to nail down a basic plan for this year.

It was on their list of things to complete before Thanksgiving ... before Christmas ... before January 1. Somehow it never quite got done.

Sound familiar? Odds are it does.

One factoid claims nearly 80% of all micro and small businesses routinely operate without a defined plan. Could that be accurate?

It sounds about right.

This is not to say that entrepreneurs, small business owners and managers don’t set goals. They do. They just don’t wrap those goals in any padding, and often, they don’t support those goals with a clear execution strategy.

Entrepreneurs tend to favor action over inaction, and let’s face it, planning feels a lot like inaction, or at least action delayed. Many entrepreneurs left corporate America and struck out on their own precisely because they preferred a more dynamic and less structured approach to people, processes, products and work.

The idea of creating a defined plan strikes into their hearts feelings of  fear, disdain or both.

It’s equally possible planning sounds too much like a dreadful time-sucking homework assignment: Write 5000 words on your business vision, mission, values and goals. Include metrics. Cite references. Incorporate relevant statistics. Use complete sentences. Neatness counts.

Let's set all that aside. At Crossbridge we prefer a rubber-meets-road approach that helps clients translate vague ideas into tangible action and results. To do this, we use a wide variety of planning techniques and tools.

To help you tackle similar challenges, we'll highlight in upcoming articles a few ways to rapidly build workable plans for yourself, your company or your next big project. And yes, the rumors are true. I’ll be cracking open The Vault and sharing a few insider tools and techniques.

As always, we’ll focus on practical methods that are simple, flexible and adaptable.

The purpose of planning isn’t to create a document. It's to find the right direction and design a roadmap so you can move from where you are – this week, this month, this year – to where you want to be.

Aim at nothing and you'll hit the target every time. We all know there's a better way.

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Other articles on  planning
Painfree Action Planning: Overview
Painfree Action Planning: 5 Pitfalls
B2B Blogs | 1. Do You Have a Plan?
Strategy | Where's Your Sweet Spot? (series)
Aristotle's Strategic Plan

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