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Step away from the left over fruitcake…
You’ve procrastinated long enough.
It’s time to get down to business and get your business and marketing plan for 2012 done!
And the answer is…
Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of questions and conversations related to 2012 planning. In some cases I see people working for weeks on this process. Frankly I’m not sure that you’re doing it right if weeks are involved.
My planning for the year took all of four interrupted hours.
Yes, four long hours. And then it was about a day and half before it was blown to pieces.
Why? Because I was asked to partner up in a very intensive program for next year that will take a lot of time but could be very profitable and enjoyable.
What might be a dilemma for many was a no-brainer for me, but let’s talk about the dilemma anyway because it’s critical to your planning process.
Meet Angie, she has a small business creating web site designs for new businesses and she does site re-design for established businesses who need a change.
She has spent two weeks working out all the details of her 2012 Business and Marketing Plan. Each quarter is organized and within each quarter every month has goal sets. Then she has listed major tasks to meet those goal sets.
Angie’s plan is clear and concise. It’s really very organized. Lots of work and lots of thought.
Then on December 27th the phone starts ringing. A local web writer that Angie has used in the past has teamed up with another local business that hosts web sites. She has received some funding from the web host to organize and run local web site classes. The idea is that the cost to run the classes is covered and could lead to a bunch of new customers and leads as well as some PR.
The problem is that the writer wants Angie to design and teach the web site design portion of the events. Because the web host has cash and can do the advertising necessary to bring in at least 50 people to each event the writer and Angie would have no out-of-pocket expenses. The web host wants one event every month.
It’s a great opportunity! But… wait….
Angie has her plan in place for next year already and it doesn’t include time to design and teach these classes regularly. She would have to re-work the plan and then something would likely have to be cut from the targets for the year.
Me? No brainer. Why? My planning took just a few hours. But Angie has spent days, hours, weeks on her planning for the year… it’s perfect.
Dilemma for Angie…
So this is a common type of challenge that clients come to me for. I call them challenges. But for many these are problems, dilemmas, overwhelm, chaos, decision, whatever you call it it requires a solution.
And these challenges can be difficult; Angie has invested time and energy in her plan. She doesn’t want to let that hard work go but she also sees the value in the opportunity at hand.
So before you become Angie and fall into the trap that a well-laid plan entails consider this… what happens when the plan doesn’t go as planned?
Do you also have a Plan B?
When I think about Business Planning I get a little bit of a headache even though I love having systems and process.
My planning system works like this:
Even in the very best of circumstances things change. Change is happening in every minute. Flexibility wins the race.
Yes. Absolutely. You don’t get anywhere without a map. BUT what you may not need are the countless hours of minute by minute planning. Have goals and targets and move toward them consistently. Be ready for change because it is always waiting in the wings. And if you miss a target, re-group and determine what you can do to get back on track.
Have a Happy and Red.Hot New Year!