Fail to plan... or Plan to FAIL??

Running a business, whether it be an offline multi-billion dollar company or an online part time home business, they share many similar traits.

One of the biggest obstacles I have endeavored to translate to many, many small business / home business people, is a very simple phrase......' Treat It Like a REAL business, Because It IS a REAL Business'.

The fundamental reasoning behind so many failures in small business, is the clear lack of willingness to act like a real business. Many people may ' have a go ', they could ' give it a try ', or ' let's see what happens ' - all with the.. ' what have I got to lose? ' attitude. THAT, my friends, is one of the biggest secrets to FAILURE.

OK - so let's assume that your small business / home business / BizOp etc., is NOT you main source of income. It is NOT responsible for putting food in you family's stomachs, it is NOT what keeps a roof over your head..... it is NOT the sole form of income that you, your family and your Bank Manager rely upon.

So look at it like this. If it WAS, would you put as much effort into it as you do now? I can pretty much guarantee that your efforts would be substantially more, because everything relies on the success of your business, vis-à-vis the money your business generates.

Well, now we have ascertained that you should be running it like a real business.......Are you?

> Do you have a business plan?

> Do you know each step that your business will take over the next week, month, year, three years....?

> Have you prepared your agenda for acquiring new customers, products, joint venture partners?

> Do you have a timetable of events?

> How often do you research, analyse, read-up and check out your competitors?

> When was the last time you contacted your client base?

> Do you offer them special offers, free resources and reports? What about surveying them and asking for their opinions?

> How often do you do all this?

> Does your business have a 'company objective'?

> Has your 'company' it's own 'customer mission statement'?

> Have you set yourself / your business targets....use my S.M.A.R.T. Principle...... .......targets which must be

= Specific.............. each item / area of business must be targeted specifically.

= Measurable........ be able to measure your targets, how much, how often etc.

= Achievable........don't think that you can sell 2 million units if your competitors only sell 50 units.

= Realistic.............. be honest with yourself. Can it be done?

= Time-bound.......give limitations and deadlines to whatever you are planning. Open-ended is no good.

If you want to run your BUSINESS 'willy-nilly', or 'Gun Ho' - then expect eventual failure. However, with some applied thought, planning and foresight, you can develop your little, part-time home business into something which definitely has increased chances for success.

Apply time-management techniques, stick to time-tables and deadlines. Look out for 'Time Thieves'........ These are people or events which steal time from you, time which could be more effectively used elsewhere.

Example: Someone calls and asks when you can deliver a certain item, you reply "within two days", they are happy with your response BUT instead of the conversation finishing, they go on to talk about weather, sports, families etc...

.....before you know it, a one-minute call has turned into a 30 minute episode of everything except business. Not Good. This is time you could have efficiently used elsewhere.........they have stolen your time from you. Look out for the 'Time Thieves' - they are everywhere. Spot them - deal with them.

Time Management is KEY to business planning. If your plan has a tight schedule to work to, then your management of ever-so valuable time will be very important. Plan your time carefully, effectively and efficiently......but do allow for some overspill and overlap.......it happens in any business!

One KEY fundamental of business planning is the ability to be flexible and adaptable. Never assume that once you create your plan, that you must stick to it rigidly, but flexible when necessary, but not to the detriment of the your success. Remember, overspill and overlap work both sides of the same coin.

PLAN. Plan carefully, plan honestly, plan realistically. But you must plan.

Final thought. Think long and hard about the 'company / business objective' and the 'Customer Mission Statement'.

Put together a short (two - three sentences) paragraph for each, which clearly defines..... A). What your business is all about. B). What your customers can expect from your business.

Chose the words carefully, put into 2-3 sentences everything that encapsulates both statements totally and work to these statements closely.

Plan for success, because without planning, you will fail.

Copyright © 2004 Gary Durkin All rights reserved worldwide.

Gary Durkin is the owner / CEO of
http://www.DoubleEdgeMarketing.com http://www.247-Profit.com http://www.eProfitGroup.com http://www.InternetAdviceCenter.com http://www.AffiliateMastermindProtege.com ...and the creator of the Serling Combination® package.

Gary has enjoyed more than a decade of international business success, and has been doing business online for 5 years.

Offline, Gary controls millions of dollars worth of global investments each day... online he applies to skills he has developed over the years by working with some of the World's leading internet marketers and specialists.

In The News:

Admin 101: How to Manage the Strategic-Planning Process  The Chronicle of Higher Education
Strategic Planning for TMSD  DiscoverWestman.com
chronicle-tribune.com  Chronicle-Tribune
5 common reasons why strategic plans fail  Charlotte Business Journal
Dist. 59 Wants Community Input For Strategic Plan  Journal & Topics Newspapers Online
St. Thomas Launches First Sustainability Strategic Plan  University of St. Thomas Newsroom
USG Hosts Strategic Planning Forum at VSU Sept. 25  Valdosta State University News
Meredith Selects Kwon As Chief Strategy Officer  Radio & Television Business Report
New Albany maps strategic-plan update  ThisWeek Community News

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