Matthew Murphy is a Director of MPR Accounting & Advisors, a business that specialises in providing Virtual CFO and outsourced accounting services, as well as business advisory, tax, grants and funding services and to small and medium enterprises.
Preparation and planning prevents poor performance
One of the first things you need to do when you are embarking on your start-up is to create your business strategy and then a plan for implementation.
Strategy is the route you need to plot to get to your destination. Planning is working out the best way to get there. Before you start this journey, ask yourself this question: Do you embrace or avoid detail?
Most people are either big picture oriented or gravitate towards fine detail. There is a great reason we like to work out which side you lean on early in our planning; we find that a lot of people stumble over too much analysis or a lack of planning.
So, how do develop a balance between the two?
One of the best implementation business tools that we use is the One Page Strategic Plan (1PSP) that has been developed by Verne Harnish from Gazelles Corp Inc. This plan is based on John D. Rockefeller’s successful habits. Whether you are big picture or detail-oriented, tools like the 1PSP will assist you in focusing on the things that are your weak spots. It helps to balance us by providing discipline for each type of personality.
If you are a big picture type, you’re more likely to want to get going fast and hope that that your business strategy will just fall into place. Big picture people are generally optimistic in their outlook and they back their own judgment. A positive attitude is a fantastic attribute and can really buoy you through the tough times. However, being pragmatic is more important during business planning. If you are a big picture person, you should develop your capacity for planning, rather than avoiding it.
If you are a detail-oriented person, you will most likely have a more pessimistic outlook. You will naturally feel like you need to plan for every possible contingency. Once again this is a tremendous trait to have, but it can also be the reason why so many businesses don’t progress past the concept and paperwork stage.
So many times we see business owners get stuck in planning, and fail to follow through with implementation. They can write hundred page business plans which end up gathering dust. Without implementation your start-up can never move forward from concept stage.
As we start on business journeys, we all get caught up in day-to-day operational issues which distract us from the big picture and our original vision. Having and sticking to a great plan helps us to stay motivated and focused, and it gives us a great reason to get out of bed in the morning.