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He Didn't Plan To Fail - He Failed To Plan

By Tony Murtagh
Posted Monday, September 13, 2004

Before you go too far down the road of developing your web-based business (or any business for that matter) you really need to formulate a plan of action.

Your plan should have long term goals and short-term action points - and be realistic and achievable. Many people start on a course of action, not really sure of where they are going or how to get there. Imagine that you said to your wife "come on, get in the car we are going on holiday."

She would probably reply with a series of pertinent questions - where are we going? How will we get there? Have you packed? Do you have the money to pay for it? How long are we going for?

If you replied "we are driving down to Florida for two weeks, the hotel is booked and paid for, I've done the packing and I have ample spending money, there is every chance that you would get there and have an enjoyable vacation.

If however you mumbled " I don't know, I haven't planned anything", she would probably be very unimpressed to say the least!

The same can be said of your business. If you do not know where you are going (your long term goal) or how you are going to get there (your short term action points) the chances are, that you will get nowhere.

Once you have drawn up your plan - (as detailed as possible) you then need to review it regularly so that you can judge your progress and amend the plan as necessary. Let's go back to the holiday analogy. You may have planed your journey to Florida to take a certain route, but you find a road blocked - or better still hear on the traffic news that the road is blocked (forward planning) - so you sit and study your road map and find an alternative route.

Likewise with your business; if it becomes apparent that a certain plan of action is not working, don't be afraid to change it. Just remember that as you travel further down the road of building your business, you will certainly come up against some obstacles. But you should be learning and increasing your skill base all the time, and if you can look upon obstacles not as problems to stop you, but as challenges to be overcome, you wont go far wrong.

Finally, never be afraid to change your plan altogether. If you were going to Florida and discovered that the area you were planning to visit was about to be hit by a severe hurricane, you would re-plan your destination.

Similarly, if something is about to happen which will wreck your business plans, take stock of the situation, see what you can learn from your experiences up to that date, and then set yourself a new goal.

Now ensure that you write your plan down. Set your self short-term goals - what you will be doing in the next few weeks - medium term - say for the next six months - and long term - for the next year or two. You should then review your plan every month or quarter, making whatever amendments are necessary, and rewarding yourself for goals achieved.

About The Author
Tony Murtagh has spent all his career involved in sales, sales management, marketing and PR. He was a UK National Sales Manger (Major Accounts) for a mobile communications company, had his own publishing company producing a monthly Business to Business magazine and has acted as a PR consultant for a number of small businesses. He is now sharing his wide experience of sales, marketing and promotion in his new web site: - ( and in a weekly e-ezine Aardvark Marketing, which you can subscribe to from the site.


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