Last week’s post was directed at those who set business growth as a goal for New Year.  While the 7 questions addressed in the post are critical, they are not all the pieces to the growth puzzle.

The 7 questions only address the business aspects of strategic planning and without a complete strategic plan business growth is a crapshoot!  You strategic plan also has to address the personal goals and requirements of ownership and the market conditions.

Personal goals are completely controllable.  But, the funny thing is they often don’t get factored into the plan.  This is why so many business owners find themselves a decade or more down the road and completely frustrated with their business and life in general!  Read the previous post about why so many business owners are frustrated to get a better idea of why this happens and how to address it.

Market conditions are a whole other beast.  These are external factors that impact your business, but are not controllable.

I frequently see business owners oblivious to the external factors.  Their response is usually, “I can’t do anything about them, so why follow them?”  While this seems rational, you have more control than you may think!

If you don’t understand what’s happening you just react to situations as they arise.  This usually gets the name “firefighting” and is no way to run your business.  If you are mindful of things that may happen even though they are outside of your control you can plan your response.  This is being proactive, and now you can have some control over the result.

This is risk what planning is all about.  While risk planning can be taken to extremes, you should at least participate in enough of it to address the things that could put you out of business if they occurred.

A good example of this was the recent hoopla with the election and “fiscal cliff.”  Business owners became paralyzed to see what was going to happen.  Guess what, there were only a couple of different scenarios.  If you had thought it through and had a plan for each you could have saved 6 – 12 months of utter paralysis.  How much growth and profit did you lose out on in the process?

For those of you that took action, share how you use risk planning to help you create action while others just sit idly on the sidelines a wait.

If you are tired of sitting on the sidelines and are ready to start growing your business contact me.  I’d be honored to help you get in the game!