A good business plan has been shown to be the single biggest difference between businesses that succeed and those that fail.

Yet fewer than one in three businesses have any kind of business plan. And only a third of those that do actually use it.

There are many reasons people don’t spend time business planning. Here are a few we’ve heard over the years:

  • I don’t know anyone else that has a business plan
  • Not enough time
  • Don’t know how
  • The future is too uncertain
  • Plans change before they start
  • Things are fine as they are
  • … you can probably add a few others you’ve heard too

But the evidence is clear that businesses perform better when planning occurs and business owners are personally more successful when they have a plan.

Being reactive is directly correlated with businesses doing badly. Following habits and “business-as-usual” is directly correlated to a lack of personal and business growth. 

Funnily enough, taking a comprehensive approach to business planning is not necessarily the answer for SMEs either. In a study of 80 small businesses, taking a complete approach to writing a business plan was not correlated with personal or business success (Frese et al., 2000).

There is one approach to planning that beats them all and consistently returns superior business growth: a more targeted, streamlined approach. This is the approach we use on our 90-day planning workshops.

Planning in 90-day increments:

  • is easy to learn and do
  • takes very little time
  • can anticipate most upcoming events
  • focuses on the most important things regardless of how uncertain the future is
  • is flexible enough if things do change
  • can be started again from scratch in a apocalypse 😉

It’s also a lot of fun when you do it with other likeminded business people. It won’t surprise you to know we hold a workshop for business people to put together their 90-day plans every quarter.