The problem is I love making plans. I’m just hopeless at following them.

For years I thought this was a real failing, and then I realised why we make plans in the first place.

Heading out on holiday

Take the analogy of an aircraft flying to Malaga. The pilots have plotted a route from the UK to Malaga, they get in the air and follow the route…or do they?

Depending upon traffic en route, weather systems, prevailing winds and available airspace, only the departure and arrival points remain fixed. Even then the second of those sometimes shifts.

Even when the flight follows exactly to plan, the aircraft is rarely spot-on the route, but straddles it, wandering a little to the left, correcting and a little to the right…

How would the pilot know how much correction to add, if there wasn’t a plan?

How do you know how much correction to add in your business, without a plan?

Re-establish Control

Then step back … have you ever sat in an airport waiting for a delayed flight? Remember the painful powerless feeling? The helpless feeling of no longer knowing what will happen and when?

How many business owners find themselves in that position every single day?

Adaptability

Having a clear, achievable and realistic plan for your business, for the next 90 days and for the next year, and a vision for the longer term, gives a feeling of security, an agility of thinking, and an ability to adapt to circumstance, and still arrive at the destination on time, and in good spirits.

The real power in planning comes from starting with a destination in mind and walking back to the present, noting all the side-tracks and pitfalls and challenges along the way. A realistic plan allows for adaptation, and adaptation is the hallmark of the highly successful business owner.