I Have Changed My Mind: You Only Need Plan A

Two weeks ago I wrote a blog about how much we can still get done before the end of this year. I said, “we find ways to keep moving forward” and I confidently put in a checklist for business owners. Right behind having a solid business plan, I listed having a Plan B. Well—today I take that back. I have changed my mind: you only need Plan A.

How Can You Only Need Plan A?

Usually when I think I know exactly what needs to be done to get through all this mess we are in, I get some sort of divine thump on the head that keeps me humble. I have been reading Congressman Dan Crenshaw’s (R-TX) book, Fortitude. Dan Crenshaw was a Navy SEAL for ten years and he survived five tours of duty, so I started his book believing he was one tough guy. His stance is that you should never have a Plan B. If you have a Plan B, he proposes, then you are already making excuses for why Plan A failed. What? I had to sit and think about that for a while. I am such a strong proponent of planning and thinking ahead—how can you not have a fallback plan?

Strategy And Tactics—It Is More Than Semantics

Strategy can be defined as a direction towards a goal. Tactics are the actions used to support the strategy. Put in terms of a military mission, your team goes out with a strategy and there is a plan to be successful. As the mission develops, it may be necessary to change tactics on the spot, but that does not change the mission. The mission remains the same; the team leaders’ resilience in the face of the unforeseen will create new tactics to successfully complete the mission. Crenshaw offers that you can prepare for ways in which a mission might change while in progress, but that preparation is not a Plan B. Completing Plan A is the goal. You will either complete the mission as planned, or you will not. But there can only ever be one plan for one goal at a time. I got my head around this concept and now I can’t see it any other way.

Succeeding In Business Is Plan A For All Of Us

Keeping your business not only afloat but also progressing has got to be Plan A as we ride out the multiple crises of a fatal pandemic and economic uncertainty. If we don’t succeed at Plan A, then the next Plan A has to be “do something else.” Do you see it? So what must you have and what must you do to complete the mission of your Plan A? I believe it always starts with an honest assessment of where you are with the five most common business strategies: product, pricing, marketing, operations, and a financial plan. This is the true checklist and your first evaluation. Then you look at your tactics to support these, as you have adjusted them in these treacherous and unpredictable times.

If you would like to talk more about this notion of “you only need Plan A”, I’m on fire about it. I believe the success of your Plan A relies first on you knowing where you are in your business right now, especially your business computer network. I believe it is where you need to start. So give us a call at Aptica and know that your network assessment from us is free.

Jason Newburg, 260.243.5100, ext 2101, is the founder and owner of Aptica LLC. This IT management and support company has been serving small to medium-sized businesses for 19 years in the region that includes Angola, South Bend, and Fort Wayne, IN, Battle Creek, MI, and Toledo OH.

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