“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” – Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin is one of the many great men in history to put utmost importance in strategic planning – not only in business but in everyday life. Despite the advanced technologies that are available to us today, his words still hold as much relevance as they did during his lifetime.
In this post, we’ll focus on how planning affects businesses and its importance for long-term success.
Why is planning important to business?
Usually, most businesses come to life from a well-crafted business plan, which contains everything – from the strategy, to operational hierarchy, to financial details, and so on. Some businesses that didn’t start with a business plan were also able to become hugely successful, like Google, Apple, and Facebook (to name a few). But that doesn’t mean you should skip on creating a business plan.
In fact, statistics show that entrepreneurs who had a plan were 16% more likely to be successful than their peers who didn’t bother writing up one.
And while highly successful tech companies may inspire you to dive head first without any prior planning, here’s the thing: planning becomes especially important as we move into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, an age that will usher new technological possibilities in nanotechnology, biotechnology, AI, and many other industries. As these industries require a new set of skills, planning becomes a necessary tool for teams to thrive and survive in the years to come.
“Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.”
Of course, there’s a lot of changes that could happen, and ultimately, no one can be certain about what the future holds. But it’s better to have a plan and not hit it, than to have no plan at all. The words of Benjamin Disraeli, one of the greatest British prime ministers of all time, come to mind: “I am prepared for the worst, but hope for the best.”
For entrepreneurs, the importance of a business plan shows in rought times. You may be expecting a smooth ride in the next few years. but what happens when the economy hits rock bottom?
Being equipped with a plan for sailing through hard times increases your chances of succeeding – even when others are struggling to stay afloat.
5 Elements of a Successful Business Plan
That said, creating an in-depth plan in one sitting is daunting, to say the least. There’s a lot of research needed – insights on the current industries, intelligent predictions on where the world is going, and a solid strategy on how you will establish a relationship with your target audience so your business can grow and accomplish its goals.
But don’t worry, we got you covered. Below is an infographic that breaks the monumental task of creating a business plan into bite-sized chunks – from strategy, to operations, to finance, and team management – so it can be easier for you and your team to brainstorm and organize your thoughts.
Whether you’re setting up goals for a small group, or leading a diverse team that spans continents, strategic planning is an essential tool that can help you reach success this year.