Most businesses, at some point, drive their owners nuts. Most suffer from the ‘feast and famine’ syndrome. Too much to do, no time to think – or too little work, with all the attendant insecurity and money worries.
The one benefit of quiet time is that it does give you precious time to think ahead.
All things operate in cycles – seasonal, financial, or driven by trends and fashions – and most small businesses tend to react to these, understandably, by making, doing or supplying things in response to them. And to an extent that’s a healthy thing.
In any small creative business lots of decisions have to be made on the fly relying on your intuition and your knowledge of your niche.
Is that healthy in the long run? Probably not. Everybody needs a mix of strategy – long term thinking – and tactics – for immediate survival. Will writing a business plan fix this? No it won’t. Writing a plan for the sake of it will just slow you down and distract you from the things you need to do in order to succeed.
Which brings me back to the slow times – and the need to think ahead.
Thinking ahead, looking at your business objectively, exploring new ideas and jotting them down, making plans, setting goals. All this is crucial. Not writing a business plan, but getting a thorough understanding of what you want to do, where you plan to take your business, and then creating a plan of ‘bite sized’ action points. That’s much more do-able, interesting, fun and energising. And if you can do this while things are quiet, it means you’re better prepared for the next slow time that comes along.
You might even find a way to smooth out those seasonal peaks and troughs.
Your time should be spent on thinking about how to build your business, make money, and successfully manage it in bite size ways – not writing big documents that immediately need updating.
And planning like this can reduce the real danger of you coming to grief by simply responding to your market rather than proactively getting to grips with it.
(N.B. there are certain situations where a full business plan may be required – for major funding bids or pitches for finance. At some point, you may simply need to grit your teeth and do this!)
I hope you have found this useful – if you’d like to add a point of view, feel free to comment below.