I’m told that a lot of planning goes in to weddings. Twenty years ago, when I got married, I don’t remember there being so much planning. Yes, I had to go here and there and look at stuff. But as far as I was concerned, I was planning to show up on the day and that’s all that my wife-to-be Margaret needed to worry about.
The truth is, Margaret is great at organizing, and did a lot of planning, organizing and preparing with her friends and our families to ensure that the day was just perfect.
And perfect it was! I can still remember it.
Event planning is not rocket science. In fact, years ago when I was doing my MBA at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC), our Project Management instructor Dr. Balbinder Deo likened event planning to a wedding.
There are a lot of details and for a wedding to take place on time and on budget, it takes proper planning.
It’s great to be able to plan a wedding, a party or an event. But what about planning for a whole year? How about making a plan to change what’s not working in our business so we can reduce our stress?
That takes another type of planning. In order to do that planning, we need to think differently than we do when we run our business day to day. This strategic planning means that we’re going to come up with a framework that will ensure that we move our businesses forward. We want to change our businesses from how they’re operating today to a more ideal operation in the future.
That change should allow us something, too. Perhaps that change envisions for us more money, more time or less stress. Ideally, if our business works as planned in the upcoming year, it should be a little bit more of each of those.
In order to plan strategically for our business, we need to consider a few things:
- The primary item that as owners we need to consider is how do our personal goals and plans, both short term and long term, fit with the vision we have for the business? Are there changes we need to make that will allow us to live the lives we should be living?
- We also need to consider what’s working in our business, what’s not working and what needs to be changed.
- Additionally, we need to understand how we want to measure our success in the upcoming year, what needs to happen for the year to be successful and who’s going to be accountable for those results.
Many business owners drift from year to year. Some are successful despite themselves.
Most successful businesses prepare for the coming year by looking at the threats, the opportunities and the changes that need to transpire.
If you’re a drifter and this has worked for you in the past, congratulations.
If you’re ready for change or if the times have changed, perhaps you need to do something different. You might want to consider coming up with a plan.
Strategic planning doesn’t need to be time consuming or expensive like a wedding. However, it does need to be done regularly to ensure that your business is focused and ready for events both planned and unexpected that you will encounter.
Troy Media columnist David Fuller, MBA, is a certified professional business coach and author who helps business leaders ensure that their companies are successful. David is author of the book Profit Yourself Healthy. Email firstname.lastname@example.org