Whatever your business, planning matters
Yesterday I took a day out of my business to attend a Digital Strategy day which was organised by BlueSky Think and supported by Di Gates of Stick Theory to look at my business planning. I’ve been running P A Support Services for nearly three years now and I thought I was pretty hot on strategy to be honest. I learned a huge amount! I also realised that I’m not always as strategic as I think I am.We started the workshop by stating who we were and what we hoped to gain that day. Simple enough stuff really but if you go back and analyse it that’s the first steps of talking to a client or customer: “Who are you?”, “Why should I buy from you?”, “What will I gain from this?”.
We then moved into a structured workshop on planning out our business model using a canvas designed by Strategyzer AG which is freely available here. This forced all of us to take a good look at our businesses, what our motivations were behind running it, what shape success was for us (which I have written about before here) as well as what roadblocks we had and what resources we really need to run our businesses effectively.
Just under three years ago I started out with a plan. I may not have stuck rigidly to the plan, as being able to be agile as an entrepreneur is important to me and of course in that time I have learned far more than I could ever have imagined but I had a plan. I even (sometimes) looked at it and reviewed myself against that plan. What I haven’t ever done is go back to step one and rewrite the plan.
Whatever business you run, whatever projects you are involved in and however you define “successful” planning matters. In fact it’s absolutely crucial because how on earth will you get to where you want to be without an idea of how to get there.
In the rest of our lives we plan all the time, we use all sorts of planning tools every single day without even thinking about it. Jumping on a train? Bet you checked the train times – that’s plannig. Going on a car journey? Did you intentionally go through a big city at 5pm just as rush hour became unbearable or did you plan to time that differently (or change your route)?
Planning matters, it matters even in the simplest things – “What are we going to eat for dinner tonight?”. When do you want to eat means working out when you have to start cooking for that to happen and requiring all the ingredients for the meal to be available (possibly also meaning a quick trip to the supermarket on the way home). That’s serious project planning, if I extrapolated that into engineering terms you have just created a fully finished item, scheduled it, backwards scheduled a project, backflushed parts and organised in-line delivery of components. So whatever your business, whether it’s small, large, industrial, creative, handmade or drop-shipped. Planning matters.
I wanted to look at my business afresh and see if there were changes I needed to make in order to improve what I provide to my clients and potential clients. I found lots of potential improvements I could make and I’m really excited to move forwards with them. Sign up to our newsletter to find out more or contact us to book onto my new one to one remote training courses. Remember as always – I’m here to help.
We also have a special offer, a half-day business process review with a FREE process improvement roadmap if you book before the end of November 2015. Use the form below and help us to help you have your most profitable and efficient year yet in 2016.
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