Just when you thought I would be off of the “planning” subject…
Lesson 2: Plan, Plan, and Plan some more or the poop will grow to gigantic proportions!
The “Business Plan”. How many books did you read before you came up with your business plan? Penny and I read every book we could get our hands on to make sure we had a solid plan. I now own several books about writing a business plan. All the books were very informative and by the time I finished reading the books, writing the plan, and implementing the plan – I thought it was done. Boy was I wrong…..
That was just the beginning. After 6 months we were back at the beginning adjusting the “plan”. At year one, ABKA/PCSA filed bankruptcy and we were once again adjusting the “plan”. Then members starting sending us ideas, suggestions and feedback – guess what – adjusting the “plan” again.
“The Plan” – as I now refer to it – has become a living evolving thing. We refer to it on a weekly basis these days as new opportunities present themselves. I know that there will be a time when we seem to be on autopilot but “The Plan” does not become less valuable.
How long has it been since you pulled out your business plan? Are you on track? Have you forgotten a few services that you wanted to implement? Has the direction of your business changed and the plan needs adjustment? Maybe its time to set new goals for yourself and the business. Do you have a plan for financial survival during the slow times that come to every business? Does your plan include a savings option, an investment option or a financial growth option? How about the plan for the education of your employees? Accreditation of your facility?
In our last article we discussed the financial plan – have you taken time to review the finances since the big rush of the holidays? If you look at your business plan, have you prepared financially so that you can implement new aspects of your business plan? Or is the poop so gigantic that you cannot face your finances let alone revisit the business plan?
I cannot say enough about planning. Years ago I worked in real estate and the word was “location, location, location”. But I would suggest that for those of us who work in the pet care industry the word should be “plan, plan, plan”. Why? The pet care industry is constantly changing and we must always be aware of our purpose and goals in order to adjust to those changes. In the midst of just doing the job sometimes we forget why we got into this business and what we had hoped to change and accomplish.
A good plan becomes an organic working document that helps us stay on track. By organic I do not mean the big pile of poop kind. Organic in that our plan adjusts to meet new demands. That is the great thing about “The Plan” here at IBPSA, it has become the document that helps guide our path in every decision we make. We remember the basics – financial responsibility to ourselves and our members and “The Plan”. So far – no poop to clean up – and that is our final goal every week. How about you? Isn’t it time to get back to why you are in this business – review the plans (financial & business), make adjustments and implement it.