Make Business Planning a Priority

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Have you ever felt like you’re spinning your wheels and working really hard, but you’re not getting anywhere? It can be very frustrating.

As a small business owner, it’s important for you to plan because it helps you stay ahead of the game and figure out where you want your business to go. After all, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

SCORE, Counselors to America’s Small Business offers a variety of tips for planning.

5 Tips for Making the

Most of Your Business Plan

* 1. Take the long view and do long-term planning. Map out where you want to be five years from now and how you plan to get there.
* 2. Write the plan yourself. You’ll learn more about your business by doing so.
* 3. Think of your plan as a living document. Review it regularly to make sure you are on track or to adjust it to market changes.
* 4. Share the plan with others who can help you get where you want to go--such as lenders, key employees and advisors.
* 5. Understand that you might pay a price in the short run to obtain long-term business growth and health.

5 Tips for Developing

Policies for Your Business

* 1. Think ahead. Establish policies before you need them. Doing so helps avert crises and awkward situations, and helps solve problems before they arise.
* 2. Determine what policies you need. Some you’ll want early in your business include a mission statement, as well as compensation, performance evaluation and employee policies.
* 3. Get input from key employees, as well as from members of your advisory board, your board of directors, and/or your professional advisors and consultants.
* 4. Communicate policies to everyone in your business.
* 5. Review policies on a regular basis--once a year, for example--and revise them as necessary.

5 Tips on Technology Planning

* 1. Create a master plan for technology, just as you would draw up a business plan, a budget or a marketing plan.
* 2. Design the plan so it supports your business strategy and goals. Use it to guide technology buying decisions.
* 3. Think of technology purchases as investments, not costs. And, remember, when you have an overall plan, your company avoids wasting money on unnecessary purchases or quick fixes.
* 4. Start by determining your company’s needs. Look at what problems need to be solved and how technology can help.
* 5. Get expert help to guide you. Check your Yellow Pages under “Computers-System Designers & Consultants,” or ask your local chamber of commerce. As always, get references.

Source: SCORE “Counselors to America’s Small Business.

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Reader Comments

Wednesday, July 15, 2009 at 7:11 AM
Diana Broomfield says:
This is great advice. It's been said before but definitely bears repeating. Don't set yourself up for failure.

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