The Single Most Important Ingredient For Building Your Business
I've spent the past couple of weeks building a shed in my back garden. Already I hear you ask, what does that have to do with business? As I was building the shed, I realized how similar it was to building a business. Wait, and I'll explain more.
Metaphorically speaking, building a shed is very similar to building a business. There are many ingredients that you need, and missing any one of them out will mean the results will range from achieving nothing to the disastrous. But one ingredient is far more significant than the rest.
It's a simple four letter word...... P-L-A-N.
With the benefit of a clear plan that's focused on reaching your goal, and the right amount of experience and knowledge, you'll know exactly what tools and materials you'll need. With the right amount of focus, along with persistence and sheer hard work, you simply follow the plan - and you're far more likely to achieve the end result you are looking for.
Let's go back to the example of building a shed, and examine what might happen if you had no plan, or just say a quick sketch on a scrap of paper to rely on:
- You would struggle to know what materials you needed, and have to make repeated trips to the hardware store, greatly reducing the efficient use of your time and needlessly wasting your energy.
- When you start building, it is highly likely it won't fit together in the way you intended. As a result, you will either have to start again, or carry on, trying to patch it up as you go along. Naturally, it can be demoralizing - you may even lose confidence completely, and just give up.
- If you manage to continue, the end result is likely to look shoddy, unprofessional, and cheap - and it will be a lasting, and embarrassing reminder of your approach.
But such a result is so easy - really, it is *so* easy - to avoid.
If you spend your time more efficiently before you even start, and develop a clear plan that you feel confident in, let us see what happens:
- You can work out exactly what materials you need, and make a trip or two to the hardware store to get them.
- You can follow the plan to build the shed, and fit the various parts together to achieve a solid construction that is both fit for purpose and aesthetically-appealing.
- The end result will look professional, and one you can feel proud of.
And you know what, it will also do wonders for your confidence and self-esteem - you will be planning bigger and better sheds in your sleep that before you wouldn't have even dreamed of attempting. Yes, I am metaphorically referring back to business, so let's get straight, and see exactly how this applies to your business.
Without a plan, your results will be unintended by definition. You are instead relying on a throw of the dice, for luck to shine on you, for good fortune to fall at your feet.
If you plan, you are planning to achieve a specific result - and your results are much more likely to be as intended, or at least, some way towards them. Of course, you can never predict exactly what will happen, but reach for the stars and you may at least hit the moon! And the experience you gain along the way is one of the most important assets for your business.
The first time I developed a plan for my business, and followed it through, my business doubled in a few short months. Developing a plan meant I had to define a target, and then define a plan to achieve it.
A plan gave me both focus and clarity - I knew what I wanted to achieve and how to achieve it. It helped me to ignore everything else going on around me, and keep my eye on the plan I had developed - I knew that if I stayed on track with the plan, I could achieve the result I was looking for.
In fact, I believe it is the single most important ingredient of all. With a plan, you know what else you need, like the following:
1. The correct tools and materials - what will you need to use to reach your goal?
2. The right experience and know-how - even if you don't have it, it's not difficult to find someone else who does, and learn! For example, there are countless successful Internet marketers for example who can barely construct a web page.
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