The object of your business is to love what you do and to make plenty of money doing it. Being busy doesn’t necessarily equal productivity in your work. Maybe you work hard to gain new customers only to be disappointed in little to no interest. To always move forward and be productive, motivated, and engaged requires staying on purpose, being clear about the successful direction of your business, and taking the right actions to accomplish this.

Why You Need to Start With a Plan

A 2010 study published in the Journal of Business Venturing focused on the business growth of 11,046 small businesses. The researchers found that planning improved business performance. Interestingly, this same study found that planning benefited existing companies even more than it benefited startups.

Another study published in the Journal of Management Studies and conducted by Burke, A., Fraser, S., & Greene, F. J. (2010) focused on the multiple effects of business planning on new venture performance. The researchers found that companies that plan grow 30% faster than those that don’t. This study found that plenty of businesses can find success without planning, but that businesses with a plan grew faster and were more successful than those that didn’t.

To reinforce the connection between planning and fast growth, yet another study by Upton, N., Teal, E. J., & Felan, J. T., published in 2001 in the Journal of Small Business Management focused on the strategic and business planning practices of fast growth family firms. The researchers found that 71% of fast-growing companies have plans. They create budgets, set sales goals, and document their marketing and sales strategies. This study also found that companies that did a good job identifying their value proposition or how they differentiate in the marketplace do even better than companies who have a hard time defining their customers’ needs.

Plan Your Business Success

A good plan is comprised of you looking at where you want your business to be and determining what you need to do to get you there. It helps you as an entrepreneur to shake things up a little. It’s a way to revitalize that drive that originally compelled you to start your business in the first place. You started with a dream but maybe along the way you became distracted by daily challenges and lost sight of your dream, settling for less than your true potential.

When was the last time you took the time to outline a plan that is meaningful, concise, and simple? Do you create a plan and then allow it to get shuffled to the bottom of your desk drawer because it holds no real significance to you? Outlining a meaningful, concise, and simple plan for your business is essential for your success. A powerful plan excites you and keeps you on track; you can’t wait to start implementing it and gauge your progress. A meaningful, concise, and simple plan will remind you of why you do what you do. It will be clear and have bite-sized action steps so you are not too overwhelmed to follow through.

Recognizing Success

Businesses with goals and a plan to achieve them have been proven to be more effective than those that do not. One of the main reasons for this difference is that tracking your performance is only possible when you have goals to measure them against and strategies you’ve employed to reach them. This information will allow you to see what’s working so you can do more of it, and see what isn’t working so you can make adjustments along the way.