If you don't know where you're going,
it will be hard to get there!

Have you ever seen a church choir sing without hymn books? How about a symphony orchestra performing without sheet music and a conductor? Or maybe a pro hockey team heading out on the ice without knowing which positions each player is going to occupy?

Ridiculous, right? Wrong.

Those examples all point to the subject of planning. Think of planning in the context of a road trip. Before you head out the door to go somewhere, you usually have a pretty good idea of where you're going, right? If it's a trip to the big city, you already know when you're leaving, where you'll be staying, what you'll be doing when you get there, and how much it will cost. Now apply that same type of detailed thinking to your business, every day, and you'll begin to see how it might benefit.

Planning does not come naturally to most of us – it must be worked at, constantly. Many business operators will try to avoid planning - “I haven't got time” is one of the most often heard reasons for putting it off. “Why plan? Things are going well” is another one.

The problem is, all businesses operate in a “dynamic environment”, which simply means that things all around you are changing, all the time. If you have no plan to keep your business on course, you begin to sink to the level of constantly reacting to changes. And that is when you might find yourself approaching the “out of control” zone.

Simply put, planning is the way you can guide your destiny. If you don't, you're leaving your future to chance and there are many things that can influence that! Some are controllable by you, but many are not – government regulations, competition, the weather, gasoline prices, cost of utilities, the general economy - to name just a few. At the very least, good planning can give you a method to deal with these and other pressures on the business in an organized, “big picture” way.

If you have a plan, you'll be more in control, and you'll have a clear head which is important to be able to deal with those everyday business pressures. And, the job could actually become a lot of fun!