Plan – another 4 letter word for most businesses

Do you plan your vacation?  Do you make a plan for the upcoming holidays?  Would you plan to build a house without a foundation?  It is amazing to discover how many companies operate without a plan.  That includes a business plan and a marketing plan.  It seems as though ‘PLAN’ has a connotation that is negative and unproductive.  It is apparently another 4 letter word within small and mid-sized businesses.

Granted, some plans remain on shelves and never have any basis in reality.  However,  in this tough economy, can you afford to operate without a clear plan to focus your resources, focus your team and align your efforts on clearly defined goals and metrics?   

Many large organizations are burdened with planning at this time of year.  It often appears as though nothing moves forward in such organizations as meetings upon meetings are focused on budgets and forecasts and detailed analysis.  Planning is taken to a level that cripples the organization.  On the other extreme, the small business owner often operates in a business as usual mode.  But we are not in a business as usual economy.  Far from it.  As a business owner, set aside some time to plan and get others involved to ease their concerns, focus their efforts and define clear accountability and milestones to celebrate.  

Leadership is critical in times of uncertainty.  There is no doubt our economic situation is uncertain so as a business owner, make the time to plan with your team and define the areas that your business is going to focus on to not only survive this economic uncertainty, but to identify potential opportunities for you and your business.  Rally the troops and lay out a game plan

Start simple and set goals.  What products/services are you going to focus on selling?  who is your best target to sell to right now?  how are you different from the competition that also sells that product?  What can you do to make your offer more compelling than the competition? 

For Marketing Matters works with business owners to establish plans at the business and marketing levels.  For our clients, the marketing plan is reviewed weekly with clear and defined priorities agreed to.  We lay the foundation for our clients and enable them to not just plan, but effectively execute against the game plan.  As the economy changes, we review priorities and market opportunities and stay nimble in these changing times.  ‘Plan’ has 4 letters, but it should not be treated as a 4 letter word.  Get one in place and put it in action.  You will be amazed at the progress made weekly with everyone focused on the same priorities.


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