Welcome to this week’s installment on planning and forecasting for your small business! Head over to our Youtube channel and take a look at these pieces from Pinnacle 7, the Harvard Business Review, and SME Strategy to dive deeper.
Today we want to talk to you about some ways to start planning even if you’re really bad at it. Most of us feel like we’re bad at planning. We don’t want to start planning. Trust us: once you start and you give it a good honest effort, you will see the benefits, and you’ll want to keep doing it, and you will get better at it. But some of some people are, in fact, better at planning than others! Planning is hard, because predicting the future is hard! However, here are some tips, if you’re bad at planning. We get these from a few articles linked above on how to get started planning, so take a look at those, and these tips will help you.
Recognize your strengths and weaknesses. Use your strengths and find other people around you to bolster your weaknesses. Accept the difficulty. Book up or block out the time, or you’re never going to do it by doing it a few hours of it a day. You’re going to have to probably block off at least a whole day to get started, and then regular blocks of time each month or each week to continue. Accept that difficulty. It’s hard to get away and do this, but unless you do, you’ll never start planning. Use other people’s brains. That’s similar to bolstering your weaknesses, but this means bring in experts, advisors who can help you, who understand your business as well. Develop systems that work or find systems that work. By using other people’s brains, you find some that have done some planning, and they can tell you some things that you can do to get started as far as systems go. The last piece is let go of all or nothing thinking. All of these absolutes? They need to be put aside. Many of us business people tend to be black and white, fairly conservative, but life is not black and white, so when you’re going through a planning process, try to stay away from absolutes, because they do not exist in life or in business, so you need to try to work up ways to plan around or predict around absolutes involved in your business. Even if you’re selling tires, there are no absolutes, other than perhaps all tires are round.
The last rule for doing planning when you’re bad at it is to keep trying. You will absolutely get better at this as long as you do a plan, you set up some measurements, and then you come back and measure and see how you did. You’ll learn where you made mistakes, and you will do better on that in the next plan. If we can help you with your planning process, do not hesitate to reach out! We would love to help you.