What is your lack of planning costing you?

I can list off a bunch of adages about planning. And as I do, you’re going to nod and agree. After all, it makes good sense.

Measure

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

“Measure twice, cut once.”

“A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.”

“It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.”

While you are nodding at the wisdom, ponder this: why don’t you have a marketing plan? Don’t look at me like I’m crazy. And don’t try to count the “to do” list or the “if I had more time, I would…” ticker in your head.

95+% of you do not have a written marketing plan. Does that mean your business will fail? Probably not. But it does mean you’ll:

  • Spend more money
  • Reach fewer of the right people
  • Be swayed by persuasive sales people rather than staying the course
  • Be less efficient
  • Grow your business more slowly, it at all

Think of it this way. If I told you I was going to pay you to drive to Salt Lake City and that your compensation was going to be based on how quickly you could get there, would you use a map or would you wing it?

Same thinking applies to marketing plans. Could you be successful without one? Sure. But it’s going to cost you more and take you longer. So why not just use the map?

After all, isn’t running a business like a journey? You have finite resources and you’re trying to get as far as you can while using them as wisely as possible. A plan gives you a leg up on 95% of the businesses out there. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of that sort of competitive advantage?

If you don’t have a written marketing plan — answer this for me and for you. What is your substitute for having the map that will conserve your resources and extend your reach?

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Comments

  1. Ayo Ijidakinro says:

    Hey Drew,

    The irony is that we all accept the importance of a business plan but most websites are built without the same rigorous planning. Shouldn’t we expect this to lead to an adverse impact?

    I wrote a similar article about this recently: http://www.ayoswebdesign.com/2008/04/what-is-web-strategy-and-why-is-it.html

    Thanks for writing on such an important topic. I don’t think business owners can be reminded enough about the need to sit down and create a business plan for their website.

    Best,
    Ayo

  2. Steve Mills says:

    A detailed, researched plan does let you look at your ideas objectively, and plan the best course of action to get them to market quickly and cheaply.

    I agree that otherwise you are trekking without a map, and it will cost more and take longer

Trackbacks

  1. Something To Think About says:

    [...] to a recent post by Drew McLellan in the Small Business Branding blog, this failure to create a written marketing [...]

  2. [...] you budget for marketing and create an actual plan – you are 95% more likely [...]