Every good business person has a plan.  Failures wander but successful people plan.  However, plans almost never work the way you think they will.

I sit on the board of directors of a community bank.  Our bank is small, but it has big plans for the future.  The most important plans are for the current year because those are the ones we must accomplish first.  For us, growing revenue, which means loaning more money, is the most critical thing.

During our most recent board meeting we were reviewing February results and we are behind on our plan.  Since it was toward the end of the month I asked if the 1st quarter results, available in a few days, would still show us behind.  The answer was yes.  My next question was, “will we be back on track by the end of the second quarter?”  I was stunned by the response:

“We don’t know.”

That is completely unacceptable.

Again, plans almost never work out the way you think they will.  But if you want to achieve your goals you have to continually evaluate where you are and make plans to correct your course when you aren’t on track.  If you are a couple of degrees off course when flying an airplane, and discover it early, it makes no real difference in the time to fly to your destination, but if you ignore it for very long, you’ll be hundreds of miles off course and it may be impossible to ever get there.

So, the key to achieving your goals is to correct your course early when you get off!  In this way you recover quickly, and you accomplish what you set out to do.

We’ve reached the first milestone of the business year.  The end of the first quarter.  Are you on track?

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