Are you Planning to Fail or Failing to Plan? The Business Planning Fallacy.

There is a school of thought that says it’s not worth it to spend time on planning your business, and what the following year is going to look like. This school of thought goes something like this:-

  • Its no good planning for next year because lots of things will happen that I can not predict that will impact my business in ways I can’t imagine. Take 2016 for example, in January 2016 who’d of thought that we would have voted to leave the EU and that the pound would have plummeted by 20% against the dollar? Brexit and Donald Trump are “black swans’ that have come out of left field and although they couldn’t have been predicted, they have impacted on business and business confidence.  So if things like these can happen why bother planning in the first place.
  • All plans are a waste of time, things never happen in the way you plan them. Professor Daniel Kahneman stated that most people when planning for themselves are over optimistic and when planning for others they are overly pessimistic.
  • My plan is in my head, I don’t need a detailed plan to follow. I know where I’m going and how to get there.  I like to react to events as they happen.

There is also a school of planners that believe that all plans are just based on numbers, so we’ll just produce a spreadsheet of monthly revenues and cost numbers and that’ll do as far as planning goes (these tend to be accountants).

Or how about this quote from  Mike Tyson:-

“everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”

Or this one:-

“A perfect tactical plan is like a unicorn because anyone can describe what it looks like, but no one has actually ever seen one” (Author unknown).

The thing is that no plan will ever be perfect but we do know one thing. Those that plan in the right way are far more likely to achieve their objectives than those that leave it to chance.

The thing is that those who have a plan are far more likely to survive “black swans” because without a plan the decisions made and the actions taken are reactive as opposed to proactive. A plan provides you with a very clear understanding of the destination of the business. With a clear destination you can easily develop the roadmap to get there and, more importantly, monitor the progress. When working in a team the plan provides the common vision, purpose and direction. It becomes the contract between all members of the team. Everyone is clear on what each person must do and when they should do it.

As Eisenhower said “In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless but planning is Indispensable”.

The planning process is vital if you’re to succeed in getting what you want from next year. I’ve seen lots of planning processes over the years that have failed because they leave out the basics. They simply state the objectives and leave out the actions required to achieve them. The plan needs to be focused on what you want to achieve and how you’re going to do it. This is why I produced my SIMPLE planning process, it not only goes through the rigors of goal/ target setting but also produces a practical plan that is designed for implementation and ultimately achievement. If you’re interested pop along to the “Free business building resources”  on my website and download a copy of my 2017 success blueprint. It will help with all your planning for 2017.

One final quote:-  Yogi Berra, the famous baseball player and creator of quotable quotes, once said: “If you don’t know where you are going you will end up somewhere else”. Happy planning!