alexa It pays to plan in advance, so avoid going with the flow - Daily Nation

It pays to plan in advance, so avoid going with the flow

Thursday August 21 2014

I am an ardent follower of Brian Tracy, an accomplished Canadian entrepreneur, public speaker, author, and personal and professional development trainer.

He is well known for his training audios, The Psychology of Achievement and The Psychology of Selling, and many more. While talking about achievement, he is quoted as saying, “success is goals and all else is commentary.”

In his words, your life only begins to become a great one when you clearly identify what it is that you want, make a plan to achieve it, then work on that plan every day.

I totally agree with him. Do you plan for your SME’s success? Do you usually stick to your plan as you develop fresh and better strategies to replace the failed ones or do you simply go with the flow as each day, week, month, year passes?

DWINDLING SALES

The trouble with going with the flow is that it takes time to notice that you are out of tune.

For example, if you do not have a plan of how much revenue you want to make every month, you will not notice it when you are running out of cash and will soon find your startup in a tight cashflow.

This could turn into a crisis, yet if you had a good sales plan and kept monitoring it every week, it would have been easy to notice that sales are dwindling or payments are delaying.

With this information, you could start laying out a plan to lower the impact or replace the original sales plan that is not yielding a lot.

Overall, lack of a plan is a primary problem for many SMEs. If you want to enjoy rapid growth, planning needs to be part of your business management culture.

IDENTIFY OBSTACLES

Creating a plan involves thinking through how you can succeed in achieving your goals, a process which allows you to identify risks ahead and even develop ideas on how to manage the risks. This allows you to implement the necessary steps to help you achieve success through the plan.

We have all heard about the old saying “failing to plan is planning to fail”. I dare add that success is not accident. Success is not a destination either, it is a journey.

Here are some tips on what you can do to have a successful plan. One, decide exactly what you want in every key area of your business and life, write it down, and set a deadline for each of the desired goals.

Two, identify the obstacles that you will have to overcome in order to achieve each goal. Three, identify the knowledge, information, and skills you will need to achieve your target. Four, identify the people whose help and cooperation you will require to achieve your goal.

Five, make a list — in sequence and priority — of everything you will have to do to achieve your goal. Lastly, organise your list into a series of steps. This is the real plan that you must execute.

PLANNING

To succeed in following the plan, using the sequenced priority list of your goals, break the activities into achievable deliverables for each month, week, and day.

Here is how to do that: Plan each day, week, and month in advance. Plan each month as it starts. Plan each week the weekend before. Plan each day the evening before.

Be very careful and detailed when you plan your activities so that you can accomplish more in less time. Did you know that each minute spent in planning saves 10 minutes in execution.

This means that you get a 1,000 per cent return on your investment of time in planning your days, weeks, and months in advance. Happy planning!

The author is the CEO/founder of Openworld Ltd Email: [email protected] @DorcasMuthoni

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