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Why is Business Planning Important?

Why is Business Planning Important?

We’ve all wondered if a business plan actually makes sense.

I didn’t do a thorough business plan for my first serious startup and it flopped, in ways I was not expecting it to. My justification for not taking the time to do it, was that it was all in my head and we didn’t need it because we were all aware of the financial milestones ahead, but I did not take into consideration that my two business partners weren’t psychic (neither were the employees) and probably needed validation that the idea would really work. Six months and six clients later, the partnership broke up, and the remaining two founders had no plan to keep us grounded and focused in the chaos and stress. So, we spiralled out of control until we hit ground bottom. And then we did a business plan.

A business plan keeps you focused and grounded

When the monkeys are running around like headless chickens and the storm is raging, you’re going to be grateful for that business plan. Many times, a business will start at point A, and the right path should be A through B through C, et cetera, but what tends to happen is A, F, X, W, H… ERJUIP… NQYBZ…. A business plan helps you to expand your business in a healthy manner, and keeps you on the right track, so you won’t have a host of disjointed items and a confused consumer market. It’s a good place to refer to when you’re stuck, or disenchanted.

 

A business plan holds you accountable with milestones

Milestones are key to businesses; they keep us accountable with a date. They also tell you from a glance where your business should be in year or two from now. As a business owner, or even an employee, you can think of milestones as personal KPIs that you’re trying to reach, so every little bit contributed to the overall effort helps. Milestones also indicate to employees that you have a vision and a plan; you’re going places! And if you miss a milestone, you can rally your team together to try to make that milestone happen.

 

A business plan helps you in a ugly times

Any business plan should highlight the major threats which exist to put you out of business, or to cause you to fail. Once your risks have been properly assessed, you should have some step by step guides to tell you how to deal with your situation. This should (or may not) keep you from panicking and making the wrong decision. So many startups fall at the point where they hit a snag, because there is no planning in place that looked at where they could go wrong; in fact, most startups don’t have a business plan due to a lack of knowledge, a lack of funding to pay for one, or a combination of the two.

Can anyone write a business plan?

Can anyone perform open-heart surgery? No. So why do we so often try to do specialized tasks ourselves and become disenchanted by the result? Business plans should be written by someone who can map your business out properly, while looking at all of the possible instances or roads your business can take over a defined period. It’s also unbiased and removed from your emotional attachment to your business idea. If a business plan is the blueprint to a business, I wouldn’t want just anyone writing mine.

A business plan should also provide some level of validation and comfort that your business is in fact possible, and should give you enough courage to push through regardless of the circumstances.

So, if you have a business idea, it’s time to validate it with a proper business plan.

The Importance of Sleep

The Importance of Sleep

I’ve been seeing many entrepreneurs and business owners burning the midnight oil, night after night. I’m awake at some crazy hours (and my Twitter TL is flooded with you owls), but I somehow manage to get a solid eight hours of sleep (or sometimes a little more!)

Not getting enough sleep for an extended period isn’t something to be proud of. It shows a consistent lack of proper planning on your part. This does not include the couple of nights where you have to burn through it to get that project closed on time, or supply a client with some last-minute work (because that shit does happen for us service businesses).

What I’m talking about is the hundreds of business owners who claim to not have a good night’s sleep in over a year, or two or three years.

This is what a potential client thinks: if you have to handle my sensitive business, and you’re not functioning properly because you haven’t gotten enough sleep, then I don’t want your business.

I have heard a client talk about a supplier like that. It’s a scary position to be in, especially when they then look at you and question your sleeping habits.

So, set a regular bed time which allows at least seven hours of sleep. Stick to it.

If you need a list of the numerous health benefits, Google ‘the benefits of sleep’.

Bottom Line: you need to be at your best performance and peak brain function to keep your business healthy.

Post-Script: I am quite guilty for not getting enough sleep too. After all, this post was written at 1:44am. But I try not to do this two nights in a row and not more than once a week, and that’s important. 

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