I can still remember the wonderful gift of a gas grill our dear friends gave us when we got married 23 years ago.  That grill came in a box, with about 150,000 parts and a set of directions.

I call it Divorce Court In A Box….just kidding….kind of.

The next grill we bought, which was a few years ago, was all in one piece, nice and tight and sturdy, and lacking in its ability to cause high blood pressure and angst in the lives of two pretty reasonable people.

The thing about all of those parts that were in that box 23 years ago is that they were all necessary.  If not for the directions, we would have been close to clueless about how to put it together, much less enjoy a tasty grilled meal from it.

How did we get to the finish line?  We actually read the directions that were written with the intention of putting this product together in the most efficient way possible, or at least that was the intention of the author.  Come to find out all the nuts and bolts were actually necessary to assemble something with a firm foundation that would last for many years.

We are given directions in each grill, box or kit we purchase, but we are sometimes in such a hurry to put it all together so fast because we want to use it NOW!

It’s the same with our businesses, isn’t it?  We want to open doors that aren’t ready to be opened just yet, or to bring in a new matter, or close a deal NOW because we’re ready, and because it fits our timeline.  This isn’t always the most efficient way to do business.

Follow your directions, your plan, your to-do list; you know, the one you’ve created specifically for your practice and no one else’s? There is no Marketing Plan In A Box that can be written for the masses that will do justice to the unique nature of your business.  It has to have the nuts and bolts that are specific to your business, your practice, your clients, your messages and the personality of you and your potential clients.

If you don’t have one, now’s the time to write one.  2011 will be here in about a month-and-a-half, so you still have time to create your nuts and bolts plan that will guide you through the entire year.  It will keep you focused and intentional about most of your actions.  I say most because the best plans always leave room for improvisation as the needs and opportunities arise, although they should still fit in to the goals of the plan.

Create a strong foundation by creating an instruction manual for your business.  Trust me, all those nuts and bolts can be lifesavers!

As always, please don’t hesitate to ask if I can be of service to you.  I can be reached here.

Thanks to Machine Design for the image used above.

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  • Ah yes… doing it RIGHT from the start. I can relate with wanting to jump ahead in a business plan. What scares many is the issue of timing, or missed opportunities, which leads to the cheating shortcuts. I firmly believe in the concept you’re presenting – which means more timing and patience on our part, providing that proper, sturdy foundation.

  • Good story! It’s true that people want everything instantly – look how many businesses offer instant success! They know someone out there wants it. I’ve always thought that kids should get into either sports or music because both show you long term goal setting and getting there one day at a time. There’s only one way to Carnegie Hall, and only one way to succeed in business – one day at a time!

  • Thanks Josh. Oh, trust me, I understand about the need and desire to jump ahead! It’s so easy to do, and planning takes time, so we often take the path of least resistance. Thanks for stopping by so often.

  • Hi Nicholas…welcome! I love your suggestion about sports and music. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  • It has been my observation, without a plan people try to mange the results not the activities. However, your point about flexibility is well taken. “I say most because the best plans always leave room for improvisation as the needs and opportunities arise, although they should still fit in to the goals of the plan.” I recall a Volkswagen salesperson who continued the planned demonstration of explaining the torque generated at so many RPM’s at an elevation of… after I had asked buying questions. Me – “How much do you need down?” Salesperson – ” Did I show you the white paper on the passenger side air bag?” If the goal was to sell the car, the plan was in the way.