You’re getting ready to leave work at the end of a long and busy week. As you look around you’re reminded of all the things that you didn’t get done: your email inbox is still full and your “to-do” list is still 30 items long.
A staff member taps you on the shoulder to answer one last question which you know is going to keep you here for at least another half hour. This is the third time this week you are going to be late for dinner with your spouse. The conversation with your employee finally comes to a close and you hear the chime of the office door as they exit the building.
As you swing your arm into your jacket to depart for a much-needed weekend away from all this, a sinking feeling comes over you, your heart-rate starts to accelerate and your palms start to sweat.
You forgot to call the bank! You didn’t get them the answers they needed and the deadline for funding has just passed.
It is Friday afternoon and you just got off the phone with the bank. Everything went well and the money that you requested has already hit your bank account. Your staff have all accomplished what they needed to do because they were aligned with the priorities in front of them. The phone hasn’t rung for the past couple of hours and you are free to leave the office anytime you want.
Reservations are booked at favourite restaurant and as you sit across the table from them with a glass of red wine in your hand, you celebrate the fact that you are laughing and sharing jokes and that you are here to enjoy it with them.
You have the whole weekend in front of you and you can’t wait to unwind as you celebrate all that you have accomplished this past week.
I don’t know about you, but I prefer the second version of reality versus the first. So why do we, as entrepreneurs, struggle to make it happen? Why do we get caught in the trap of fighting fires on a daily basis and trying to keep our heads above water while others throw us weights?
One of the main reasons is that we don’t have a solid plan in front of us that works. We can’t clearly picture where it is that we are going and we can’t seem to put the systems and controls in place in order to get us there.
Time and time again, I work with businesses who struggle with cash flow and financing. They struggle with their systems and their processes, their people and their profitability. They are so busy spinning their wheels and trying to grow quicker that they don’t stop to realize what’s broken in the first place. They don’t have a solid business plan (RoadMap) in place that allows them to work smarter not harder; one that helps them achieve their goals faster while having more fun along the way.
When I mention the words business plan, where do your thoughts take you? Maybe you are thinking:
- How much is that going to cost me?
- The last one I did just sat on the shelf and had very little value!
- It is such a waste of time!
But actually, the opposite is true.
Business plans can get you to your goals faster, saving you both time and money. They can create a reference point to align your team around common goals in order to work together instead of against one another or in departmental silos.
A third-party business plan can create credibility and provide assurances to lenders when you need money the most. They can help you raise financing and equity dollars quicker, putting that much-needed money into your pockets sooner rather than later.
A good business plan includes a SWOT analysis (strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats), a market and competitor analysis as well as an in-depth financial analysis. It should highlight key areas for improvement for your business and bring clarity to the trends that are taking you off-course.
It is not the business plan that fails the entrepreneur.
It is the entrepreneur that fails the business plan.
The most common mistake that most business owners make regarding business plans is that they fail to execute on them. And the main reason for this is because they do not have a support system around them to hold them accountable to that plan ensuring that they revisit it on a regular basis.
Don’t you think it is time to push the reset button? Move away from chaos towards the calm? Isn’t it time to realign yourself with what truly matters in your business? Stop putting off what you know in your heart to be true. Your business needs a plan. Your business needs a support system to help you work that plan. Stop working harder and start working smarter.
Are you missing a business plan in your business model?
For advice on how to create a solid business plan or if you would like one created for you, please connect with me via Facebook, LinkedIn, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone (403)-992-7261 or by filling in the form below.
Your future is what you make of it.