Every year in the Nigerian Nation, the President read the budget speech for that year. Every sector of the economic and all and sundry in the business circles, whether private, public or governments are alert to view the prospect for the year in the overall progress of the country from the budget speech of Mr. President. Budgeting is one process of planning and all countries of the world traditionally practice this type of planning process.

If Nigerian with all the resources you can think of should spend months on the drawing board, charting the course for its citizens, then every business irrespective of size and age, must of necessity take time to plan its activities. Ignoring the power and importance of planning has led to the retrogression of 50% of many businesses. Some entrepreneurs see planning as a waste of time, others just take for granted and trust in their abilities to coordinate every business by heart.       

Planning as been seen as a sure and dependable step towards averting and controlling unpleasant business experiences which ordinarily could lead to business collapse. Running a business is very much like taking a ride on the highway, with many other competing road user, each, though on the same interest, but with diverse purpose. While some drive safely to their various destinations, others cannot but have deflated tyres, which attract some bills from the hospitals and mechanic workshops, while other become casualties resulting in death.

Why is it so?  For physical accident, it’s not the act of God, as many would think. Rather it is due to lack of effective plan and preparation before the onset of the journey. As the safety of the journey depends to a large extent on the care of the driver, so also is the survival of a business. On the highway there are traffic lights: red, yellow and green. There are also the road signs that inform the drivers of dangers ahead, but only few drivers look at these signs.                        

Planning is all about taking PRESENT decision about the FUTURE of your business. There are many advantages of planning for the progress of the business. Among these profits of planning are:

1.  Concentration

Planning enables the business owner or entrepreneur to concentrate on his goals. A business that is not planned is more easily susceptible to distractions than the one that is planned. Planning lays down the step-by-step process for achieving any business goals and must be done on a yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily basis. Concentration is the fuel that stirs up your passion as a business owner in constant light. So with business plan your vision and passion are glued together with the help of concentration and focus.

2.  A Secure Future

Those business owners or entrepreneurs who plan their business activities are made to take decisions concerning the present and the future. Those that don’t plan are concerned only about the present and they are crippled by the rope of procrastination. Planning brings about better control, easier management, and better relationship with staff, customers and clients. When we plan and do it daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly for any business, such business will not lose opportunities for greatness and expansion.

3.  A Steady and Sure Guideline

A plan is a guide to where you are going. A plan has a time frame. A two month plan enables you to know where you will be in two month time. With planning, you get result, even if not exactly as you planned. Planning is like a construction process, it is a continual exercise. We need a guide to get us to our destination, so also for your business you need guidelines which are clearly spelt out in your business plan.

4.  Efficient and Effective Communication

No successful business can operate in a vacuum and no business succeed without enlisting the help of others. For this help to be easily rendered, to the investors, supplier, customers, partners and anyone networking with your business, an effective communication network is needed in your planning process. An effective communication is achieved with a good plan of network.

5. Discipline

While the Multinational Corporation requires plans to enable them control those who are close to the action, small business owner/entrepreneur need planning to enable them discipline themselves, if chaos and anarchy are to be avoided. With good business plan, there is effective discipline of the use of financial and human resources.

Planning is extremely important for small business success. It represents a step away from fire–drill, reactionary mode of operation. It is a wise decision to look continuously into the future and to anticipate and react to the current environment

Take time to plan for your business. Thirty (30) minutes spend on it can save your life five hours of problem latter. So start and develop the habit of having a daily plan, weekly plan, monthly plan and yearly plan for your business.

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