Well it sounds fine but in our work at home business – planning versus doing – what’s the right mix?
Often I see very good articles which tell us to stop planning and start doing. I can understand the thrust of these articles but when you start a work at home business not everyone has the ability to plan, and some that are planners may be the perfectionist type who end up with planning paralysis.
How do you get it right then?
If you don’t plan do you miss something?
If you do Plan when do you stop planning and start doing?
One of the findings that I have seen during my corporate career (which is a long one) is that in any project things change from day to day, and building a home business is a project – right?
- I found that the biggest attribute which I could learn to have was to expect change at every stage and to be flexible enough in my planning to deal with it.
- What this means is that you need to be able to re-plan based on change that has happened. It is not simply a case of planning, doing some tasks exactly according to this plan, and then plan a bit more and so on – life doesn’t work that way.
Okay – let’s take an example.
Suppose you are starting to build a home business and your key goal is – making money from selling a series of e-books.
- You plan to have one book in the series ready in two months and the rest will follow at monthly intervals after that.
- You start planning the first book for the goal of finishing it in two months.
Nice so far
But on what do you base your plan if you have not written a book before?
- How do you know how long each of the tasks will take?
- Tricky because it’s not a lot of good asking other people. We all work at different speeds and pace so what takes one person a week may take you 3 weeks.
Small steps – better planning.
The perhaps obvious answer is to take a small step and work out how long it takes you. In our examples here write the first chapter and see how long it takes. Then look at the plan and see what this means – are you still going to make the two month deadline?
Then you can revalidate your plan based on some experience.
In the so called sophisticated corporate world this is what we do when we initially plan. We guestimate how long things will take based on our experience (and our teams experience) and then measure the actual task times an dre-plan to meet the end objective. Why not use this approach in your work at home business. (but of course you need th experience base first right)?
This is what I think is often missing from articles which say stop planning and start doing. Whilst I agree with the headline – I would add, because you will never know if the plan is good until you do something. Then re-plan!
I would make the following recommendations to anyone who is just starting out with a work at home business.
- If you don’t know how to plan at all have a look at our post entitled “Who needs home business planning”.
- When you start your business make a note of how long things take to do – not down to the second maybe just the number of hours. Easy to make a note preferably on your electronic calendar but do remember to do it daily as by the end of a week you will have forgotten.
- This data will form the basis of your future plans and will give you a rough idea of how long future tasks will take.
- Be prepared to make changes to your plan at all times – be a flexible planner.
Hope that you found this useful,
Yours in Business,
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