What is a plan?

Last week I introduced the January idea of the month… planning. When I discuss planning with clients, I consistently hear the same objections… Who has time? With all of the many things we do as entrepreneurs, who has time to draw up a plan as well? Now is where you are expecting me to pull out the old quote about failing to plan being planning to fail.  Don’t look now but I am going to surprise you. Instead I am going to probe the idea of a plan.

communicationplanMany of us come from corporate backgrounds. When we think plan, we think executive summary, numerical analysis, forecasted results and Power Point deck presented to unsmiling executives in a conference room with one of those funny triangular phones. (Is it just me or do others have nightmares about those phones?)

Breathe deeply, relax, cast aside that notion of a plan. Yes, that is a corporate plan. A small business plan can be much simpler. Want to see my communication plan for this month? Take a look.

It is sort of difficult to read at this size but what you are looking at is a schedule of when I am posting blogs and sending a newsletter for the month of January. The days I am writing blogs are denoted with a “B” and a number. Newsletter is on there as just an N. On the bottom is a list of my scheduled blog posts, below that is what I plan to do with each of my newsletter slots.  This particular blog is listed as B3 on January 15.  Easy peasy. Are all plans this simple?  No, probably not but they don’t need to be that much more cumbersome. Unlike in corporate America, you aren’t out to impress anyone with your expertise in the area you are planning. You are just putting the effort in to think through an idea, a strategy, a course of action.

So what am I saying here? You need to plan, but don’t let that plan lead to inaction. The plan need only be as complicated as you make it. No plan on…