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How to Prevent Business Failure in 2016

People often ask me, “James, when’s the best time to plan for your business?”

For some reason, when I get this question, I always remember a Doris Day song from my childhood that was popular in the 70s — Que Sera Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be).

It’s great that there are business people who a curious about the right time to plan. Unfortunately, there are so many who just go through the motions of their business without a plan. They tend to rely on hope, but John C. Maxwell had warned that, “Hope is not a strategy.”

No business person can afford to have a que-sera-sera attitude.

Who hasn’t heard the cliche that failing to plan is planning to fail. I suspect this is a paraphrasing of Benjamin Franklin’s who said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

My reply to the question of timing is that it depends.

If you’re a big corporation, you should start early. Most Fortune 500 companies begin the process 6 months before the new year. For a smaller business, beginning in the 4th Quarter is fine.

If you begin later in the year, then you should set aside some time and make the planning intensive, i.e. over a 7 day period, so that you are focused. And it should be a written plan and not something that’s floating in your brain.

The second question I get after the first is, “How do I perform planning?” Basically the business owner is asking me, what the process should be and what he or she should evaluate.

Usually, I’ll sit down with them and spend an hour to provide them an outline.

Last month, I discovered a free sales & marketing planning webinar that is held over 4 days. Why 4 days? During the webinar you’ll be given assignments to develop your plan, so need time to prepare it.

This webinar is not a chit chat session, but one where you will actually create your plan.

So now I tell those who ask me for the process, to just sign up for that webinar.

If if you need clarity on your business prospects in 2016 and want increase the chances of success, then visit this site — 2016 Sales & Marketing Plan.

By the way, here’s a disclaimer. Don’t misread the article title and assume that with a plan you won’t fail. You can fail, but with a written, well thought out plan, you reduce chances of failure and with contingency measures, you can mitigate the effects of failure.

Although it’s October, I wish you a very successful 2016.