Your Plan For 2020
Haskett: Business planning is the process of creating a vision of your future, aligning your people, processes and systems, and creating the necessary steps/goals towards that future.
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Your Plan For 2020

It’s that time to develop goals for the coming year, so you’ll need a solid plan. Biz Coach Fred Haskett sets up Step 1 -- Get a hold of reality.

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January 17, 2020

Editor's Note: This is the first article in a three part series by Fred Haskett focused on establishing business plan that produces results and moves your business forward.

While the start of a new year offers a natural launching point for new ideas, plans and goals, it’s always a good time to think about what you do and ponder how to do it better.

When you come down to it, planning is just another goal you set for yourself. And like all goals, the most important step in achieving it is. I believe Ben Franklin said it best: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

Business planning is the process of creating a vision of your future, aligning your people, processes and systems, and creating the necessary steps/goals towards that future. It is like looking at your company and industry from a helicopter to see where it is going, what has changed, and to see if there are other opportunities,and finally returning to earth to set the direction for your business based on the gathered information.

Business planning answers these three primary questions:
Current Reality -- Where are we today?
Goals -- Where do we want to be in the future?
Action Plan -- How are we going to get there?

Other questions come into play as a part of the three primary questions:
• What is standing in our way?
• Who are our competitors; are they better, why are they better, are we better? etc…
• What helps govern our decisions?

Once these questions have been answered, you can start working towards your objectives.

A solid annual business plan will help you -- and others in your company -- make decisions today based on your long- and short-term goals. It will help you take your business to the next level.

It is also a means for you to communicate your ideas and your vision to other people who can help you build your business. In addition, the plan helps focus the company and the people involved on a direction and helps them commit to making this idea a success. Remember the wise words of Yogi Berra: “If you don’t know where you are going ... You’ll end up someplace else.”

Now, let’s dig into the steps to creating an annual business plan. A critical path item as you work through this process is to tackle each of the three primary questions separately.
The thinking process or mindset for each of these is different. So, I recommend approaching them as separate exercises.

Step 1. Start with the “Current Reality”
Before you can determine where you are headed you must first determine where you are at.

Where are you at?  What is your “here?” What is current reality? By definition, “current reality” is the total of all the elements, metrics, and factors, internal, and external, that are present at a given point in time “Here.”

We know that operating from an awareness and acknowledgment of who and what and where your business is, as well as being aware of the factors going on around you, is the only way to be truly in touch with current reality.

People and companies who are not in touch with their current reality are deluded. You need to be brutally honest with this process to create the platform for identifying the goals in Step 2 that will make a real difference in getting you from “Here” to “There.”

As Head Harvester, with the Harvest Landscape Consulting Group, Fred Haskett coaches green and white industry owners. He is also a frequent Snow Magazine contributor.