21
Jun
2011

The Top Ten Reasons To Plan

I work with a lot of growth companies, and I’m often asked about my “secret recipe” for growth! While I custom-tailor each company’s “recipe”, depending on its stage of growth, industry, and opportunities, planning is definitely one of the ingredients I recommend for each company.   Why?  Here are my ten reasons:

1: The plan charts the course to the future you want to create

There are many things you could do, many paths you could take to achieve your vision.  A plan specifies which way you’ve chosen: which customers you will serve with what kinds of products, how you will market, sell and deliver them, when you expect to launch new products into new markets, and who you need to make this happen. In other words, a plan brings the vision into reality.

2: It helps you filter all the possible opportunities to those few which will advance your mission and provide highest ROI.

“Yes” decisions and “No” decisions are fairly easy to make. It’s the “maybe” opportunities that waste a lot of time and energy. A good plan is an opportunity filter.

3:  A plan helps you identify the optimal market segments and specific customers to pursue.

All customers are not created equal. Some are more valuable; some require more attention. A plan helps your employees understand which target customers/markets to focus on.

4: A plan reduces confusion about present and future directions.

Confusion is the enemy of growth because it sucks energy. A plan specifies what needs to be done when, and who’s responsible.

5: A plan enables you to shape the future.

The development of a plan requires the CEO, President, and Senior Team to work together, agree on  the company’s strengths and weaknesses, assess opportunities and threats, and agree on which goals and strategies will enable the company to succeed.

6:  It guides the allocation of scarce resources.

There’s never enough time, money or people for what you need to do when you are growing.  A plan forces the company’s leadership to agree on the priorities, timelines and who will do what, when, and how.

7:  A plan facilitates more consistent and focused decision-making – at all levels of the company.

8:   A plan provides a baseline against which to measure progress and achievement of goals. And last but not least,

9: A plan helps employees understand how their individual performance impacts the company’s performance.

And because of this,

10:  A plan enables growth!

Try it.  Although you may never grow fond of the process, you’ll love the outcomes!