7 Mistakes to Avoid in Business Planning

Young business woman thinking of her plans closeup face portrait and sketches overheadAt the beginning of every year, I lead a workshop for business owners, guiding them through a process to create an Annual Business Plan. Now that we're 2 months into 2015, I wanted to share with you seven mistakes that business owners commonly make in planning.

Failure to Put Your Plan in Writing

Most business owners will launch into the year with no written plan in place. That's a mistake. I'm so excited about the group of business owners who attend our Annual Business Planning Workshop because these are the owners who will focus, plan, and achieve great things year after year.

Failure to Review Your Plan Weekly

The key to success is not just having a plan – it is reviewing it regularly to stay focused and to measure progress. Regular review is essential to success. What good is a plan if you never look at it?

Ignoring Customer Feedback/Input

Sometimes we get in a rut as business owners. When this happens, we miss the subtle – and sometime not-so-subtle – messages and feedback from our customers. We must always be observing and listening to them. Their feedback should be valuable to you.

Underestimating Your Competition

This is more common with business owners who have been around a long time. They do not know how damaging the competition can be because they are in denial about their diminishing advantage. While you shouldn't obsess over your competition, you shouldn't ignore them either.

Ignoring Your Strengths

The most successful business owners know themselves well. They know their strengths and their weaknesses, but they focus on their strengths. The less successful get obsessed with their weaknesses and miss the tremendous leverage they can have by developing their strengths.

Shying Away From Reasonable Risk

During a sluggish economy, it's normal to pull in and be conservative. However, when opportunity is staring you in the face, you need to be ready and willing to take a reasonable risk. Don't be afraid!

Failure to Learn and Grow Personally

The truth is that if nothing significant changes in me as the business owner, very little of significance will change in my business. You and I are the key to growing our businesses. We must be intentional about learning and growing ourselves! Tweet This

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