Measure Twice, Cut Once

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    Successful entrepreneurs tend to be frugal. They have to be. They know that money and time is scarce. Too many things to do, too little time. So they focus, prioritize, cut to the bone, do what only needs to be done to get from point A to point E (skipping point B, C and D if possible). If you ask them how much planning they do, they’ll tell you they don’t have much time for that. But probe a bit deeper, as I have in hundreds of discussions with small business owners and entrepreneurial nonprofit leaders across the country (and some overseas), and you’ll find that generally they’re pretty good planners, even if they roll their eyes when you use that word.

    Unlike the Hollywood version, most real life entrepreneurs do not carelessly take risks in hopes of making it big. Instead, before they dive into something, they often gather information from customers, competitors, colleagues, sales people, suppliers, industry sources, wherever they can get it – then add their own knowledge and intuition into the mix. From that effort the idea for their new business or new product or new market emerges. Why don’t they “just do it” the Nike way? Because they know it’s almost always cheaper to get it right the first time. They know to “measure twice, cut once.” That’s what business planning is all about. Sure, some things you can’t measure; but for everything else, there’s business planning.

    As we continue with this blog, we’ll discuss specific strategies for measuring, once, twice, but not three times, by doing “just enough” business planning. Then just do it.

    How do you do your business planning? Where do you need help?

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    For more resources, see our Library topic Business Planning.