Que Será Será

June 26, 2002

Whatever will be, will be. The future’s not ours to see ... or so the song goes. But even if that is so, I believe an awful lot of failed businesses have learned that they should have at least tried to see their futures. Many of us just jump right into business sporting an initial business plan in order to obtain investors or approval for loans. However, as the years move on, our goals sometimes may be forgotten, or we may create alternate objectives for our businesses as we have seen it grow and the industry change.

Whatever will be, will be. The future’s not ours to see ... or so the song goes. But even if that is so, I believe an awful lot of failed businesses have learned that they should have at least tried to see their futures. Many of us just jump right into business sporting an initial business plan in order to obtain investors or approval for loans. However, as the years move on, our goals sometimes may be forgotten, or we may create alternate objectives for our businesses as we have seen it grow and the industry change. But why leave such important ventures up to chance?

Continually planning where a company is headed often is a top ingredient in prosperous companies. The businessmen of these successful companies watch the market trends, take actions that coincide with these trends and constantly question where they would like to be and how they would like to achieve it. Most importantly, they are not afraid of change.

No matter what size your business may be, how long you have been in business, what products and services you offer and even how long you plan on running the business, a destination for the company should be strategically planned and then consistently carried out.

A corporate business plan should identify your market and areas of waste within your company. It answers questions such as “What will your company be doing in five or 10 years? How much growth will your company achieve every year? What will you do better than your competition?” and “What types of people and additional personnel will you need?” Just be specific in your plans and make sure they are measurable, says Andy Marken, president of Marken Communications, Inc., on page 8. This planning will keep you focused as you move your company forward.

Along the bumpy business road, it is most likely that you will encounter some sort of trouble. Amidst any disaster, your company should have guidelines for employees as well as yourself for dealing with these situations. Whether it is a mass water contamination, an unethical salesperson or a defective product, it is imperative that proper procedures are in place so you can act in a timely fashion. On page 30, you will find “Keeping It on Track”— guidelines for planning crisis management.

Although flying by the seat of your pants may make for an interesting story, without a strategic plan, you have greatly decreased your odds of success. In this highly competitive age, there is no better way to developing your business.

Best Wishes for Success!

About The Author: Wendi Hope King is editor of WQP. She can be reached at [email protected]

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