Every female entrepreneur probably understands the importance of planning, at least subconsciously. In fact, every woman business owner has created some sort of plan for her company’s future, whether it’s to offer more products or partner with another business. But what are the most important reasons a female entrepreneur must plan?
When a business owner creates a plan for her business, she is creating a road map she can follow to get to her ultimate destination: success on her own terms. Such a road map does not have to be concrete -- it can include detours at unexpected obstructions, as well as pit stops to refuel and rest stops when necessary. Not every female entrepreneur has a plan, and many who have not yet created one, are thriving anyway. However, sitting down and outlining the route to success gives a business owner a sense of direction, and the company a boost.
There are 5 Top Reasons why female entrepreneurs must plan:
A plan provides focus. In some cases, a female entrepreneur envisions multiple streams of income. Each stream comprises several ideas – and the business owner is thinking about many of these ideas at once. If her attention is split between several projects or ideas at one time, her work will not make effective progress. Therefore, a plan helps a business owner focus on projects or ideas, one or two at a time so that she can move forward rather than spinning her wheels.
A plan takes the guesswork out of decision-making. When a business owner is following a plan, making decisions becomes easier. For example, deciding whether to hire an employee, launch a new product, or pay someone to do the bookkeeping becomes easy when a business owner has a plan to follow. In the moment of choice, the business owner must simply stay true to herself – and her plan. In cases where a certain decision seems right for the company, but doesn’t jive with the plan, the business owner may choose to reassess, and possibly refocus her plan. Remember, plans can change to include detours, as long as the destination is the same: success.
A plan relieves stress. Some business owners are overwhelmed every day by multiple work-related commitments and responsibilities. Short-term and long-term planning can help a business owner keep things in perspective and relieve stress. One suggestion: create a “parking lot” for ideas that need to be addressed in the next week, month, six months and year. Keep the “parking lot” somewhere easily accessible and jot down ideas whenever they come up.
A plan creates work-life balance. A plan helps a business owner prioritize projects so that she can choose when she needs to work on and complete them. In this manner, a business owner can schedule work time and play time, so that she has the opportunity to recharge and refuel herself. Without a plan, an entrepreneur can feel a frenzied need to get everything done at once, and it is easy to forget personal time when this happens. A well-rested, energized business owner performs better than a tired, overworked one does.
A plan increases profit. When she follows a plan, everything a business owner does is more efficient. This greater efficiency reaches every part of her business – because she has shared the necessary parts of her plan at every level – and therefore, each activity produces its intended result in less time. This means more time for more activity – and more revenue.
In creating a plan for her business, a female entrepreneur must first consider her definition of success. For some business owners, this will mean major growth, while for others, it will mean maintaining an excellent work-life balance so she can meet her other obligations. In every case, though, planning is an essential step in reaching Destination: Success.
Michele DeKinder-Smith is the founder of Jane out of the Box, an online resource dedicated to the women entrepreneur community. Discover more incredibly useful information for running a small business by taking the FREE Jane Types Assessment at Jane out of the Box. Offering networking and marketing opportunities, key resources and mentorship from successful women in business, Jane Out of the Box is online at www.janeoutofthebox.com.