Napoleon lost the battle of Waterloo, not because he failed to plan, but because he failed to stick to the plan. He became reactive instead of proactive. The result was a catastrophe for him, and “Waterloo” became synonymous with utter defeat.
Many business owners pour hours into formulating a successful business plan strategy, only to open their doors and never look at the plan again.
It’s understandable how this can occur since there is so much involved in getting a business up and running. In the beginning, most are barely keeping their head above water with regular day to day activities, let alone the occasional putting out of fires. Taking time to look at a plan that is still fresh in their minds becomes a waste of valuable time.
But fast-forward a year or two and many business owners are forced to take an inventory and wonder what happened. They found they became more reactive rather than proactive and forgot to refer back to the plan that made so much sense at the beginning.
So how does a business owner get back and stick to the original planning of their business?
- First things first – Schedule time to plan. Consider yourself the most important appointment of the day – every day. Don’t let anything get in the way of your planning appointments.
- Partner up – As much as we like to think we can accomplish things on our own, many people are much more successful if they have someone to answer to. When we are an employee, we have the boss to answer to, but now that we are the boss, it is easy not to answer to ourselves. An accountability partner or a coach can make a big difference in working on your business.
- Peer inside – Join a mastermind, peer roundtable or CEO type group – these types of groups often have an accountability component attached with the added value of getting feedback from other business owners. One of my favorites in the DC area is Select Business Team.
It is easy to get started in business and it is easy to fail in business. Don’t put aside your business plan.