Plan B? Support Plan A

There is a tendency for prudent people to have a Plan A, or what they really want to have work, and a Plan B. In business, though, your Plan B should be to support Plan A.

The true reason for having multiple plans is when there is an outside factor which can influence whether or not a plan is feasible. For example, if you’re planning a camp outing, you don’t have control over the weather. Plan A would then be for a beautiful sunny day, while Plan B would be in case it rains. Since you won’t be able to control this factor, having a second plan (or a third, as the situation demands) would be perfectly reasonable.

In business, however, having multiple plans can actually hamper your ability to succeed at your primary plan. Setting up your business, you have a path of how you would like to grow your business. Some parts of that plan are flexible, others are not. However, all your planning should be dedicated toward removing obstacles to Plan A succeeding.

As soon as you start to devote effort toward a secondary plan, you diminish the effort put into Plan A. Suddenly, with obstacles arising in your chosen path, it becomes easier to say you’ll switch to Plan B, rather than persevere toward your original goal.

To flip this around, not having a second plan can seem foolish – it’s known that life rarely follows along our ideas of perfection. As such, how can one justify not having a recourse?

The answer is that the recourse is to plan better – think through the various possible scenarios, all the things that could go wrong, and plan for them. If your flyers don’t generate a lot of leads, then you’ll adapt your marketing strategy to use direct mail postcards. If the average customer spends $50 in your store instead of the planned $75, you’ll implement a plan to increase the number of customers.

However, in the big picture, all these actions and plans are to achieve a single goal, whatever that might be. Plan B is merely one of several plans for when Plan A needs a bit of tweaking to succeed.