Last year I attended my annual Women of Faith conference and I was joined by several of my closest friends and traveling companions. We decided to drive to Boston and so our adventure began. One of my friends brought her new GPS (Global Positioning System) that she had received as a Christmas present. I was so impressed with the precise directions that this micro computer gave us. This GPS was wonderful; it gave us directions on where to turn and it even told us how many feet we needed to drive before reaching the turning lane. Better yet this little navigation device spoke to us in a gentle, soothing, and kind voice; which allowed us to stay focused on our destination. The GPS even informed us when we made a wrong turn. There was no condemnation, just a lovely voice informing me that there was a recalculation and now I will simply have to take another road to reach my desired destination. Wow! I like that kind of back seat driving!
Many times since that trip I have thought about my GPS experience and those thoughts sprang to a comparison to my own desired business goals and my business plan . It is a well documented fact that many micro and small business owners do not have a business plan in order to drive their businesses to success. No doubt there are some who would say that they are operating their business just fine without a documented plan . In an earlier blog post I passed on an interesting fact that only 3% of adult Americans have specific written goals. Your plans are more likely to come to fruition if you write them down.
A business plan is your roadmap to achieving the success that you desire for your business . It is a living breathing document that can change with the winds of your business. Often events may arise where you have deviated from your original business plan ; however, the GPS ( Business Plan ) quickly does a recalculation and gently informs you how to get back on course.
Your business plan is your navigation system, which will allow you to set-up milestones to view your progress. This will allow you to know how many “feet” you are away from reaching your goal. Your business plan helps you to identify the bumps in the road and will help you decide which route you may want or need to take to overcome your obstacles. Your business plan can and should be reviewed and modified to meet the forever changing demands of your business , economy, and clients.
Much like a Global Positioning System your business plan uses tools that are essential to your business : planning , communication, and management are skills that are key to your success. Not having a clear and precise business plan could leave your business stranded with no direction.
Remember your goal is for your business to succeed. A well devised business plan will help you identify and develop the skills necessary for your business to thrive. Much like my experience with the GPS, a well devised business plan will help navigate your business to meet you destination.
by Brenda Violette