Entrepreneurs are usually eager individuals who can't stand the thought of sitting still. One of the reasons why good entrepreneurs fail is because they jump into action without the necessary research and planning. It's important to execute your vision as quickly as possible, but taking time to map out your plan is essential.
There are several dangers associated with not properly planning ahead of time. Here are 3 reasons planning is crucial:
1. A plan keeps you from drifting off course.
When you don't have a plan laid out, you are going to find that you won't have a consistent goal that you are working towards. Your vision one day, may be something else the next. That's like trying to sail to Europe only to change course to Australia half way through the trip. Without a map, you are going to end up on the West Coast of Africa. There's nothing wrong with that, except that it's not where you originally wanted to go. Make sure you have a clear vision first, and then move forward with your plans.
2. Planning forces you to research.
Most businesses fail because they don't take the time to understand their market or customers. If you write a business plan, you’ll be forced to take the time to understand the market. Your plans may change later, but at least you will be able to have an informed idea as to what they should become.
3. Learn to project your competitor’s moves.
The last thing that you want to do is to go into business with no idea of what your competitors are going to do. If you take the time to plan your business strategy, then you’ll increase your chances of outselling them exponentially.
While planning is important, it’s also important not to plan too much. You need to make sure that you have a general idea of where you are going before you dive right into your business. But one of the pitfalls of over-planning is that the industry and your competitors will change around you if you fail to take the time to notice.
The age old axiom 'If you don't know where you’re going, then you’ll probably end up somewhere else' might as well have been written for business. As an action oriented entrepreneur, one of your biggest instincts is to run directly into the line of fire. Before you do, make sure you have a plan of action carefully laid out. You will be glad you did when you realize how complex your market is.