I’ll admit to sometimes getting more than a little irritated when I’m behind the wheel of my car. Why is it that some drivers don’t read the road ahead? Yesterday I pulled out of the way to let a bus through a narrow stretch of road (with my indicator showing that I would be pulling out) whereas the woman in the Chelsea tractor behind me carried on until she blocked the road so the bus couldn’t get through. As a result we were all held up for several minutes until she realised that the only way out of the impasse was for her to reverse into a space she had passed when I’d stopped. I thought one of the reasons people drove Chelsea tractors was that they increased visibility, why is it then that so many of their drivers don’t use that advantage and think they own the road?
As I sat there trapped, waiting for sense to prevail, I began to think about how easy it is for us to make the same mistakes in business. We become myopic, focused on the here and now with little real eye to the future, as a result, when the virtual bus comes along it stops us in our tracks.
We need to take time to stop and think, to map out our direction and to consider how we will overcome any potential obstacles. A business plan can be our version of the Chelsea tractor giving us greater insight into the direction we want our businesses to take and providing a framework for our decision making.
Unless we run a retail related business the Christmas period is often a bit of a sluggish time in business with clients focused on completing outstanding projects and wrapping up the year. Now is our opportunity to take a bit of time out to set some goals and work out how we’re going to achieve them. That new diary is just waiting to have some activities and deadlines in it. What are you going to write in yours?
I’ve committed to publishing the first in a series of Business Planning workbooks on January 10th with others following at regular intervals so my diary is shaping up nicely. By sharing my deadline with all of you I now have to make it so please hold me to account. If you want someone to hold you to account for your deadlines then email me and I’ll be asking you for feedback on your progress.