If you’ve been putting off writing your business plan, you’re not alone. The vast majority of small business owners avoid business planning like the plague, they think that writing a business plan is a daunting task, and it’s an easy one to avoid.  Let’s quickly put a myth to bed that the only reason to have a business plan is for the banks, investors or when you’re looking for funding. If that’s what you’re thinking then this article is for you.

Here are 5 reasons why you’ll want to spend time planning:-

1) To set direction and priorities:

First and foremost, you need a strategy because it sets the direction and establishes priorities for you and your business. It defines your definition of success and prioritizes the activities that will make this view your reality. The strategy will help your people know what they should be working on, and what they should be working on first.

Without a clearly defined and articulated strategy, you may very well find that your priority initiatives—the ones that will drive the highest success are being given secondary treatment.

2) To simplify decision-making:

If your leadership team has trouble saying no to new ideas or potential initiatives, you need a strategy. Why? Your strategy will have already prioritized the activities necessary for success. Priorities make it easier to say no to distracting initiatives.

3) To get everyone on the same page:

Even if you don’t have staff, you’ll still need other people on the same page as you, such as your life partner or other strategic relationships. If you do have staff and find that you have some of them working to achieve different aims, or going in different directions, you need a strategy.

Once you define your strategic direction, you can get operations, sales, marketing, administration, manufacturing, and all other departments moving together to achieve the business’s goals.

4) To communicate the message:

Many business owners walk around with a virtual strategy locked in their heads—they know where their business needs to be and the key activities that will get it there. Unfortunately, the strategy isn’t down on paper and hasn’t been communicated thoroughly. As a result, few people are acting on it.

When your staff, suppliers, and even customers know where you’re going, you allow even greater opportunities for people to help you maximize your success in getting there.

5) To drive alignment:

Many businesses have hard-working people putting their best efforts into areas that have little to no effect on strategic success. They’re essentially focusing on the little things—because their activities aren’t aligned with the priorities. Your strategy serves as the vehicle for answering the question, “How can we better align all our resources to maximize our strategic success?”

Once you recognized the need to plan, you now have the role of becoming the catalyst: for facilitating the buy-in and commitment of you and your business to plan.

Finally, the biggest reason you’ll want to spend time business planning is that it pretty much ensures your success, how can you get to where you want to go, if you don’t really know where that is?

To help you with this I’m holding several day-long planning sessions aimed at local business owners who want to ensure their success next year.  Just go to www.businessplanning.gr8.com to find out more.