Avoid Eight Common Mistakes in Your Business Plan
By Sameer Kamboj, SKC World
Why would someone plan for failure? It may be a funny thought, but then why do so many plans fail instead of succeeding? It’s one thing to simply say that the plan went wrong, but quite another to admit that the reason it went wrong is that “we did not plan well!”
The key to success lies in execution. But execution without planning is like running blind on a curving, potholed road. How well you plan your work and how well you work your plan will ultimately determine whether you fail or succeed.
Good planning has several requisites. Conscious entrepreneurs are aware of the realities and know how to increase their plans’ odds of success. Yet entrepreneurs who are “unconscious” are bound to make many of the following common mistakes.
1. Setting goals based on past performance
Unconscious entrepreneurs look at last year’s performance and then simply extrapolate the growth that they are likely to achieve in the coming year. Instead, you should consciously look for ways to improve your systems and processes in order to maximise growth. Closely examine each part of your organisation – finance, sales, process and people – to find out where you are losing out on potential revenue. Then set a clear goal for improvement in each area.
2. Planning sales instead of driving sales
Most people base their sales on how much market share they can win or how many sales they can make through their dealer, distributor, sales networks or network marketing. This kind of planning often fails since it only focuses on meeting existing demand. You should also be thinking about how you can actively drive and grow the demand of the market.
3. Setting unrealistic goals based on assumptions of strength and performance
This is the most common of all mistakes. It’s one thing to have a grand vision of what you would ideally like to achieve, but if this vision is not based on your people’s current capabilities and their willingness to grow and evolve, you have no concrete way of realising it.
4. Striving for individual goals instead of collective goals
In today’s world, no one is willing to dedicate their time and skills towards achieving one person’s ambition. Talented people look for organisations that are working towards a collective mission, to fulfil a cause and achieve a vision together.
5. Sacrificing values for growth
When you strive to achieve numerical growth at any cost, that cost often comes in the form of your organisation’s values. By compromising on your values, you’ll attract people who are willing to compromise on theirs. And what’s stopping them from treating you in the same way? Many people who complain of being cheated or backstabbed need to examine how they compromised on their own set of values.
6. Setting goals without knowing how to achieve them
When you set your goals first and only then start thinking about how to execute them, you’re putting the cart before the horse. The first requirement for clear planning is an absolute understanding of your ability to execute.
7. Not having a vision and growth path for your people
People want to work for organisations that further their professional growth and where they can work to achieve a meaningful cause. If the only cause you have to offer is making money, be prepared to lose your people to those who can offer them even more. Mercenaries are like sellswords; they rarely win wars.
8. Not taking people’s views and beliefs into account
Don’t assume that people will be willing to work towards a goal just because you believe that the plan is right. You can force and coerce them, but if they’re not fully committed to the plan, they will soon leave you. Your people should believe in your plan as much as you do.
Planning is diffcult only while you are unconscious and compulsive; which in return causes misery and suffering. But when you are conscious, there is only joy and success in whatever you do.
Become a “Conscious Entrepreneur”. Remember that dreams are achieved by those who don’t shy away from life’s realities. When your plan is firmly rooted in reality, you’ll have a clear path to achieving your goals.
Published: GGI Insider, No. 102, July 2019 l Photo: Юрий Красильников - stock.adobe.com