Planning: The GPS for Your Family Business Journey

About 4,000 years ago, the Greeks or the Phoenicians (scholars aren’t sure who was first) learned how to navigate using the sun and the stars.

Can you imagine getting into a wooden boat and taking off for some distant shores where you didn’t know what would be there? Then turning around and making your way back again?

Since then, navigation has progressed through charts to maps all the way to the GPS.

Despite the changes in technology, the concept of navigation remains the same: it’s the process of accurately determining one’s position and planning, following, and adjusting a specific route or path.

I like to think of planning as the GPS for your business.

5 Ways your business plans are like a GPS for your business

  1. Plans are Adaptable: Just like your GPS reroutes when you miss an exit, your plan should be flexible enough to adjust when challenges arise.
  2. Plans Provide Timely Info: A GPS gives you insights on upcoming turns and obstacles, and likewise, a great plan should give you regular updates on short-term goals and long-term strategies.
  3. Plans Prioritize Your Milestones: Adjust your objectives based on the current situation and the resources at hand, just as GPS would rearrange your stops in the most efficient order.
  4. Plans Help You Identify Risk: Both GPS and business plans help you foresee and manage risks, ensuring you have the necessary resources in place to tackle any situation.
  5. Plans Help You Track Progress: Like a GPS, your plan should help you benchmark actual results against your projected goals, allowing for precise course-correction when needed.

Our informal research over the past 13 years shows that only about 50% of family businesses have plans.

But, those who plan reap the benefits:

  • Greater success rate than businesses without plans
  • Higher employee engagement
  • Ability to capitalize on opportunities faster
  • More nimble in managing risks

Video Presentation: Planning to align and achieve goals

Watch the presentation below to discover:

  • The difference between a business plan and a business model.
  • The four plans every family business needs to produce.
  • Why leaders resist business planning.
  • 8 reasons you need business plans.
  • 6 common mistakes.
  • Best practices for business planning.
  • A strategic framework for maintaining alignment.


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