Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail?

What’s your strategy? Have you ever heard someone ask an athlete what their strategy is? Well, my oldest son runs track and he often talks about the strategy he is going to use depending upon the race he is running. He however does not just throw a strategy out there before the race. His coach has worked with him on the strategy prior to the big day. Likewise, in business we need a strategy. I was definitely a “go with the flow” kind of entrepreneur for years which ultimately led to “slow flow.” My eyes were open to the importance of planning when I hired my first strategic planner consultant. As an occupational therapist, the idea of strategic planning made total sense. We don’t just go in and start providing therapy but we evaluate the person, environment and occupation and then come up with goals. We work on those goals expecting a certain outcome. If we as health and human service entrepreneurs are required to professionally have plans to reach goals then why would we not want the same thing for our business? I encourage you to create a strategic plan for your business so you can stay focused on where you are actually going. A strategic plan should include priorities, such as what is it most important for the business to focus on? If you are anything like me and like to do a lot of things, a plan will help you to remember to stay on track.

The actions that the organization must take including who, what, when and where are also important to consider when creating a strategic plan. The execution of the plan should also be regularly reviewed to determine if progress is being made towards those goals. And you know what, if the plan needs to change you can change it!

Back to my son running track–he had a strategy in mind for a race a couple of weeks ago. The plan was in his head but something happened while he was running. He went down…my husband, youngest son and I watched the television with concern as were not at the meet. We ended up meeting him at the hospital and later discussing what happened. There is now a rehab plan so that he can get back on track-no pun intended in the next four weeks. I am saying all this to say that sometimes our plan does not go exactly the way we want it to and we have to take a break and go into rehab. So you were in the red last month–do you need a financial advisor or a business consultant? Your referrals went down? Do you need a new marketer or can you beef up your social media marketing? Perhaps, insurance cut rates unexpectedly? Are there some new cash-based services that you can provide?

There is always an opportunity to plan and move forward but if you fail to plan, unfortunately I believe you plan to fail and we want health and human service businesses to get back on track to run the race that God has put before them in their businesses for underserved populations. I can see the finish line, can you?