Success leaves clues and one great clue about success is a clique that still stands true even today; When you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Planning is an essential process for success, especially in any business start up. This is where business plans come in.
Inc magazine International, once conducted a study of fifty start-up companies. Half of these companies had spent several months and even more to develop complete business plans before they began operations. The other half of this group had started without detailed business plans and were simply reacting to events as they occurred in the day to day operations of the business.
Two to three years later, the researchers went back to determine the levels of success and profitability of these companies. What they found was the companies that had started operations with clear, written business plans, carefully thought through and detailed in every respect, were vastly more successful and profitable than those companies that had started spontaneously and had made things up as they went along.
The companies that had started on “the back of an envelope,” where the founders were “too busy” to sit down and do the detailed work of strategic planning, were almost all floundering. Many of them already bankrupt and had gone out of business.
Here was the most interesting discovery: when researchers interviewed the business founders, they asked them, “how often do you refer to your strategic plan in the day-to-day operations of your business.”
In almost every case, the entrepreneurs and executives running the business had not looked at the strategic plan since it had been completed. Once it was done, they put it in a drawer and seldom revisited it until the following year, when they went through the strategic planning process again.
The most important finding was this; the plan itself was seldom referred to, but the process of thinking through the key elements of the business was vital to their success.
This goes to show that planning for any business is a vital process. For you to succeed you must put efforts in creating a plan and working that plan to the T. John Galsworthy writes, “If you do not think about the future, you cannot have one.” and Dwight D. Eisenhower adds, “Plans are nothing. planning is everything”
Put time into planning for your business success today and soar beyond your wildest imaginations. Wish you luck!
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FootNote: We are in trying times currently due to the corona pandemic. You can check out this article on how to work with your business plans while keeping safe.