It’s a Marathon not a Sprint
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” Benjamin Franklin
Last year I made the decision to focus more on my health and wellbeing in 2022, so I set myself three goals. The first was to run more road races, the second to start meditating and the third to start eating clean. I know I can achieve all three, I just need to put the chocolate bars down and step away.
Running a Marathon has always been on my bucket list and I’ve been told that you find out a lot about yourself when you train for and run a long distance event. I wanted to challenge myself this year, so on Sunday 2nd October 2022 I will be running the Loch Ness Marathon. The race course looks amazing with fantastic views and if I’m lucky I may even catch a glimpse of Nessy herself.
I’ve been an active athlete since the age of 9. I joined my first club at the age of 11 competing in track and field, cross country and road races. Over the last four decades I’ve clocked up a lot of miles; there is training in the bank. At the age of 16 I became a qualified UKA Athletics Coach and continued to move up the coaching ladder to be a Level 3 Endurance Performance Coach, so it’s fair to say I know a good bit about training for endurance events. However I have never trained for a Marathon and I’ve never run more than 30 miles per week, so this is going to be a new learning experience for me. I’m going to have to do my research, write a training plan that meets my goals and implement it, if I’m going to run sub 4 hours. It’s my Marathon Business Plan.
There is no way that I’m going to just turn up on race day, stand on the start line and think I’ll just run 26.2 miles and hope for the best. You see you have to train for a marathon, you have to put in the miles on the road, you need to spend the time on your feet, you need weekly milestones to hit to keep you on track and keep you motivated. You’re going to have to train at a certain pace if you’re looking to run a certain time, you need to train yourself to take water and food supplements on board during the race, so that you don’t hit “The Wall”. It is also vital that you understand why rest and recovery is so important.
There’s a lot of preparation and planning that goes into running a marathon, so that by the time you get to the start line you will have given yourself the best chance of success.
All this made me think of you.
I’m working with a number of clients, some of whom I’m currently taking through the business planning process. These are clients whom have been in the sector for a few years but didn’t write a plan when they first started and are now having to go back and address areas that should have been put in place when they started. I was curious to see how often this occurred within the industry, so last week I posed the question: “Did you write a business plan before you started your business?” via a poll in my Facebook Group and on LinkedIn. The results came in and 60% said no they did not write a business plan.
This seriously sparked my interest. Why would you not plan for success?
Business planning isn’t just something you have to do to please the banks to get funding. There are so many benefits to business planning, from providing you yourself clarity on your purpose, creating a marketing road map to get you from A-Z and helping you set priorities so that you can say no to things that don’t fit in with your plan. They can also keep you on track, keep you accountable, give you focus and provide structure. There is also the exciting part where you get the crunch the figures and see if your business is viable and how much revenue it will generate. Seeing your financial targets on paper will provide you with the motivation you need to get those sales. I will never forget when my first business hit six figures and was tracking my original projections. It was my motivation to keep repeating that year in and year out.
Business planning can be used in so many ways. As a franchisor I used it as a tool, as part of my recruitment process. I wanted to make sure that the people who were looking to join our team were capable of being a business owner and that they themselves had taken the time to research the business model, and that they understood the commitment they were making. They would have to submit that business plan to me and present it to my Operations Manager who would dig deeper. That plan was used when we awarded a franchise as a mechanism for accountability and performance measuring and continued on as a live document. It was time well spent.
My point is that for me to sign up for a Marathon costs me my entry fee, maybe some new running shoes and kit, but generally low risk investment cost. I could follow a training plan and run really well on the day or I could just turn up and see what happens, after all, the investment risk is very low, so no big deal right?
However to start a business these days, particularly if you are joining a franchise, requires an investment of generally £5000 and above, depending on what business you are establishing. The investment cost is high especially if you have just invested your life savings, taken out a loan, or borrowed funds from your family. You have to succeed to receive a return on your investment, therefore it makes sense to write a business plan to give yourself the best possible chance of success.
Therefore, if you’re just starting out, or you’ve been in business for a while but didn’t write a business plan when you started, why don’t you book your Business Audit Call with me today or a FREE no obligations Discovery Call.
Don’t waste time thinking about it, start planning for success right now. You have got nothing to lose.