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Study Reveals Planning is the Most Important Factor to Business Growth

According to the Forbes Insight and CIT study U.S. Small Business Outlook 2010, small business owners “agree that planning is perhaps the most important factor for succeeding in this new economic environment.”

Yet while small businesses recognize the importance of planning, they don’t necessarily do it. When business owners were asked if their company had a strategy in place to guide growth, 44% of businesses said no (but were working on one) and 11% said they didn’t have a strategy at all.

Not only does lack of a clear strategic plan lead to poor decisions, it can lead to complete indecision. For example:

•    38% said they didn’t know what their 2010 hiring strategy would be
•    33% didn’t know what their 2010 pricing strategy would be
•    45% said they didn’t know how they would be investing in R&D and product development
•    40% didn’t know if they would delay or spend more on equipment and plant purchases

More than three-quarters of surveyed executives and owners agreed that, coming out of the recession, the old way of doing business won’t work and they need to find new ways to take advantage of market opportunities.

In fact 85% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they need to plan more effectively and that the recession has only highlighted the need for more effective business and marketing planning.

Lesson learned: Take time away from working in your business to working on your business—in good times and in recessions.

In upcoming posts we’ll look at ways businesses can implement real-time planning into their business so it becomes part of daily business operations.