Original Date Posted: May 3, 2012
By Susan Lane

To be successful in business we must plan, plan and plan again. This never changes, although circumstances often change. Never be so rigid as to fear and avoid change. Many goals fail and businesses fold because of a reluctance by the owners to change procedures even though circumstances, needs and events change. Always have your plan and work the plan but never be afraid of change. There are many people who refused to learn how to use a computer and much preferred to go out of business instead of learning how to change because of fear.

One good example of the refusal to change is our United States automobile industry. For so many years they refused to recognize the needs of the American people to have smaller, fuel efficient cars until Japan flooded the market and the United States lost so much business to a foreign country. The auto makers had the technology, expertise and financing to make the same type cars as Japan but refused to cater to their customers. Instead, they stuck with out-dated designs, inefficient gas guzzlers and tried to force feed these to the American people by spending enormous sums on advertising and cost cutting. Much of our foreign trade deficit is caused by the automobile industry’s rigidity and reluctance to change. All through the 1980’s and 1990’s they continued to try the same things with the same results. It has really taken the 2008 economic downturn to finally wake up the heads of this industry and force changes that could have been made many years before. Seeing these so-called leaders of industry fly to Washington with their hands out for loans to bail them out was very sickening. I thought of how many small businesses could have been bailed out with just a few hundred dollars for each.


By planning and thinking through our long term goals, we can get a much broader picture of any situation before we jump into the midst of running a business. Goals and planning can save much time, money, worry and anxiety, forcing us to focus on ultimate outcomes. The expression, “work smarter, not harder” simply means plan and set goals first.


Many business women and men work very hard their entire lives and never achieve but minimal success; they barely keep their heads above water because of a lack of planning and goal setting. Sometimes just making it through a tough day can be overwhelming unless we are focused on ultimate outcomes. Anyone wanting to always be in control MUST plan. Entrepreneurs like to be in control and are repulsed at the thought of others making decisions for them so the good ones do the planning to be sure their wishes are carried out.