Sometimes I think all of us at Palo Alto Software feel like broken records. And yes, I know, it’s our job to encourage people to write plans. In fact its our livelihood. Sometimes feel like a dentist telling people, yes you really have to floss. We all know we should floss. We know it will keep our gums and teeth and mouth healthier. Yet many of us simply don’t do it.

This is the same with planning. People know they should. People feel slightly guilty that they don’t, but business owners operating without a plan will tell you a million reasons why they don’t have time to write a plan. Then when they go out of business, they blame the customers, they blame their vendors, they blame the economy. But rarely do they say :

“Wow, I failed because i did not plan my business. I failed because I had no clue where I was going with my business.”

Planning doesn’t have to be super time consuming. You can have a plan for you business that just gives you some focus and goals to reach. You can have a plan that morphs as your business grows. You DON’T have to have a 50 page written document. If you haven’t read Tim Berry’s posts, on the PLAN AS YOU GO BUSINESS PLAN, you should. He has created a new way of thinking about planning which fits the modern entrepreneur. Be nimble, be flexible, be innovative. But as Susan Schreter says in her Inside Entrepreneurship column from yesterday says:

“I do hope you make the time for goal-setting and business planning.
After all, it’s easier to drive to a destination if you have the
address.”

I now run Palo Alto Software. And really, seriously, honestly. I could not effectively run this business without a plan. If I did not understand the numbers we wanted to reach, and the strategies we wanted use to get those numbers, how could I understand whether I am doing a good job?

-Sabrina Parsons, aka Mommy CEO

 

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Sabrina Parsons
Sabrina Parsons

Sabrina has served as CEO of Palo Alto Software since 2007.