• Deb Doyle, The String Alliance

Stress Less; Knot More Part 1: The Benefits of A Plan

Updated: Jan 20, 2021

Tell me if this sounds like you:

You own a local yarn craft store (a passion of yours for ages!) You decide last minute on the featured pattern in the weekly newsletter. Since the decision was made late, you scramble to inventory yarn and order more to cover demand. You still need to photograph the materials, and decide to do so when lighting is poor because that is the only time you are able to squeeze it into the chaos!

You haven’t even thought about how you are going to get these kits ready to ship and into people’s hands. In your head, you are already counting up the costly do-overs that will be required for mistakes made while working at this break neck speed.

Unfortunately, this is a typical day for your yarn store. What was once a passion is now a frantic, tangled, and expensive cycle of redos and keeping your head above water. You ask yourself, “Will I ever be able to get ahead?”

Now, can you imagine this scenario?

You own a local yarn store and you design your own patterns. Your newsletter is scheduled to launch in the morning and after double checking inventory this afternoon, you know you have plenty of yarn and materials. You spend the evening browsing the internet for sweater designs and future inspiration.

You are particularly proud of the photography that was completed for this week's newsletter. It turned out beautifully with the help of a new staff member who has a knack for the camera, and you are so thankful you invested in this new employee. Your social media team has built engaging posts with the incredible photography, and they are scheduled to go live tomorrow, with the newsletter. You are excited for the morning: everything is going as planned.

This is the story of the same company, yet two vastly different scenarios. What is the main difference between these two stories? The presence of a plan.

How do I know this? With over 30 years in the marketing world (and 50 with knitting needles!) I understand how small company’s work, and how a plan can help shape the future of your business.

Why Your Business Needs a Plan

After reading the above examples, it is apparent that efficient and effective business works best with a well thought-out plan. Businesses tend to function in one of two ways: they are either fighting fires (cue scenario one, the presence of chaos, mistakes and do-overs) or they are executing a plan (scenario two, complete with quality, excellence and savings.)

If the decreasing emotional burden is not reason enough to incorporate planning into your work schedule, consider this: annual plans help you to make better strategic choices.

Read that again: annual plans help you to make better strategic choices. These plans not only make your day more manageable, they can also help you reevaluate your business goals. Whether you need to pay special attention to your customer base, have a better understanding of inventory, or make some important determinations when it comes to budget - a plan can help set these priorities into motion.

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