But be honest – did you take it seriously? Or, are you always too “busy doing the work” to plan? In this recession, there has never been a more urgent time to take the idea of planning seriously!
The biggest danger in failing to plan is that your activities will be incongruent, especially in these challenging economic times. By this, I mean that you will be working very hard, but not accomplishing much. Or you will miss a big opportunity because you were simply working in the day-to-day.
It’s true that many CEOs feel like they are on a treadmill. You don’t dare stop or slow down because you know you will be thrown from the machine. This is why doing a plan seems like just more work.
To exit the treadmill, you must find a way to keep your current activities moving while moving forward on the truly imporant items…
Ryce owns a landscaping company. He always seemed to be bogged down in the day-to-day details of the business. After awhile, he began to feel like he was not making the progress she should.
After intense questioning in his The How To Double Your Profit System CEO group, it became clear that Ryce actually had great understanding of the overall business dynamics as well as the future direction of the industry. If handled well, his business could be catapulted to great heights. Handled poorly, these new dynamics would put him out of business.
The group got Ryce to do a simple SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats). This really does not take long, and can be fun if you involve your core team and make it a group exercise. Just brainstorm on each of the four and record all ideas. You can do it in just one meeting.
From this easy beginning point, Ryce, he was able to begin the process of looking at the goals, strategies and tactics he needed to move his company into the next five – ten years.
You, too, can begin this process – it is not as daunting as it seems. “Just do it,” start a SWOT analysis with your team, or even all by yourself. You can easily create four flip chart pages and tape them on the wall, or even four pieces of blank paper. Title a different one “Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.” Then just create bullet points on each page and you’ve begun!
It is useful to remember that Strengths and Weaknesses refer to the internal situation of your company, while Opportunities and Threats relate to the situation out in the marketplace in relation to your company.
Once you have a SWOT analysis, creating your strategic plan is based on the idea of seizing the opportunities you have identified using the strengths you have, while blunting the possibility of any threats attacking you. You will also want to make plans to work on the weaknesses you have identified.
In these difficult and uncertain times, doing this exercise may be the deciding factor as to whether your company just survives, or actually thrives.
Do you have some experience with planning like this? Success story? Do you feel I’m off base and it’s a waste of time? Improve upon this post by leaving your story, below, as a COMMENT.