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Why Yes You Do Need To Plan In Business

By: Michael McMillan

I am not sure why, but I am still so amazed each time I walk into a new company and ask what their corporate goals and objectives are for the next six months and receive blank stares.  Or even worse, when I follow that question up with general P&L questions and get asked, "what’s that?"


People, I get it!  The business world has a lot going on and more than likely number of hats you wear in your business as a leader has a number yet to be invented.  But, that doesn’t mean you can run your business effectively without a written plan and clear knowledge of the numbers of your business.

Now let me be clear….. When I say a written plan, I am not talking about those business plans you learned about in college (though they are pretty amazing.)  All I am talking about is a document that clearly states your organizational goals for the next 6-12 months, what the goals are for each person/department, and the specific measurements to ensure they are accomplished. For most of my business leaders, it has taken us one to two solid days with the entire leadership team to knock all these out.

What was the outcome of all that time?

For one organization I advise, we saw a 14% month-over-month increase in sales conversions starting the very next month! That growth continued for the next ten months, and has all the signs of continuing as we are preparing for our next strategic planning here in month 12. 

So how do we know our planning ignited this growth?  We are able to draw this result because when we released the strategic objectives and goals to the team, and we also set individual key performance goals specific to every role in the business.  These goals had strict measurements tied to them so we can track impact against the historical data we already had.  Pretty cool right?!

So on your very next work day/night I would like for you to ask yourself these simple gut check questions:

  • Do I know my current top line and bottom line revenue numbers?
  • Do I know what my top five P&L cost centers are?
  • Can I clearly tell you my profit margin by product/service?
  • Is the newest person on my team able to tell me what our business goals and objectives are for the next six months?
  • Does everyone on our team know what part they play to ensure we achieve our goals this year

If you answer "NO" to any one of these questions then I strongly encourage you to STOP!

Now take a deep breath.

Don't panic or freak out.  You are in the same boat as 96.3%+++ of my client's, and best of all is this problem is easily corrected with some hard work.  Just take the above hit list point by point and work with your leadership team, advisors, or if you have none of that you can call me to get this list all marked as yes as soon as you can.

Just remember if each day you take one step toward getting all five items marked as yes, you will have all as yes in five days.  Then once that is done start paying close attention to those top and bottom line revenue numbers as most of the time the effect is almost immediate!

To Your Success & Prosperity!