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Monday, 27 March 2023

Why do we resist making a business plan?

business tips and advice

Taking the time to create a detailed vision for your business and then planning the steps needed to make that vision happen is one of the biggest keys to success. When you have a plan and a clear path forward, you don’t waste time, energy, or resources.

You know decisively that you can achieve what you are setting out to do which means that when you sit down to do marketing, you are clear on your message and your purpose. You become aware of the opportunities you want to attract and, therefore, when you meet the right person, or when a conversation or idea begins to form, you are ready to receive it.

Overall, business planning makes your day-to-day business decisions much easier. This, in turn, leads to “higher gross revenues and growth in sales” (according to this study of Australian small businesses).

And yet, most of us avoid it!

In my experience as a business mentor for natural therapists, these are three common reasons I find that lead to the lack of business planning. They are often not conscious and once you become aware of your patterns, you can then begin to change them.

#1 Being stuck in survival

When you’re in survival, just trying to make today work, you become reactive rather than proactive. You’ll know you’re in survival because you’ll feel tense and overwhelmed. What happens is that you focus on the most “pressing” task or perhaps reacting to mini dramas that have occurred out of disorganisation or miscommunication. You can see here how this becomes a loop! Reaction creates reaction. Whereas when you can prioritise taking a step back for a few hours and beginning to plan a path forward, you become proactive and aware of potential problems before they arise.

#2 Lack of understanding and support

Planning is a skill that we learn! It’s not necessarily innate. For some, planning is something that they are practiced at. However, for others, planning is not a natural skill. When you’re not sure of what to do first or how to break something down, you will tend to subconsciously avoid it. You may need someone to guide you through the steps, to see what sections you’ve missed, or to help you to elaborate on certain points. This is often why people employ mentors and coaches – to help them to sort out the thoughts in their mind and put them into a more solid plan.

#3 Afraid to step outside of the comfort zone

How often do you let yourself dream big? Ask yourself honestly, what are the possibilities for my business as I see them now? Too often we keep ourselves small due to the fear of failing (or due to the fear of success!). We keep ourselves in our comfort zone, rather than letting ourselves step outside. When we envision and then plan with goals, we realise that what we want IS possible! This can trigger fear because, all of a sudden, it requires us to actually step outside of our comfort zone, rather than just dreaming about “some day”. But just think of what you could create for yourself, your life and your family life!

When you create a genuine vision of what you want to achieve, you begin to connect to a bigger purpose. Your business moves from “having to market yourself to get clients” to “I have the ability to create something amazing with my new skills!”

How to plan effectively

  1. Create your vision. Set yourself a timeline for this vision – is it in one year? Five years? Where would you like your business to be at this time? What is the vision that you have for it?
  2. Get specific! Be as specific as possible with your vision. Where is it? What will your role be? What is the business offering customers/clients? Who are the type of people that you attracting? How much is your business earning? How much are you earning? Are you doing it on your own or are there other people employed/involved?
  3. Set your goals and the time frame. Goals are the steps that take you to the creation of your vision. In other words, what are the targets along the way to your vision? Goals are best made when they are SMART – (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time stamped). For example, I aim to have five people per day booked two weeks in advance. This is achievable because at the moment I have three people per day booked in a week in advance. I aim to reach this goal within six months.

You can set your goals monthly, quarterly, or yearly depending on how big and detailed they are.

  1. How are you going to achieve your goals? In other words, what is the plan on how to reach your goals? Do you need to market more? If so, how are you planning on marketing? What is your core message? How are you going to market (social media, networking, events etc)? Do you need to hire another person/contractor? What is their role specifically going to be? Create detailed and definable steps to each goal that you have set.
  2. What could go wrong? Now you have to come up with all the things that could go wrong! The more prepared you are the less you’ll be in fear when the ups and downs of life happen. You’ll be able to pivot more quickly and still reach your goal. For example, what happens if an event doesn’t book out? What happens if you don’t reach your goal? Knowing what could go wrong also helps with the natural inclination to blame oneself and go into a self-depreciating spiral when disappointments happen. When you see clearly that things may not happen, you become much more flexible.
  3. The contingency plans. Now you’ve thought about what could go wrong, it is time to find solutions! Again, these solutions help you to pivot and respond to changes, rather than reacting and possibly sabotaging what you’ve already created. For example, if an event doesn’t book out, find another time, find another venue, market again! What happens if you don’t reach your goal? Extend the timeframe and try again!

Using all of these tools, knowing that you are not alone, and seeing where you may have been hiding, will hopefully help inspire you to create some time to do this very necessary business step, and eventually help you to create a business that brings you joy and inspiration!

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Emma Sternberg

Emma Sternberg has spent her whole adult life helping people to understand themselves and their behaviours.

With the grounding of a Bachelor of Health Science (Complementary Medicine) and Kinesiology she has established successful clinics in two locations and helped thousands of people to be more connected to themselves.

It’s been a natural progression to use her understanding of humans to help other practitioners in their own business journeys, and in 2017 she launched The Practitioner Table which guides practitioners to success in their own businesses.

Emma’s career has evolved from working 1-1 to teaching, course creation and mentoring.

She has established a wide network of practitioners all over Australia who continue to train under her guidance in the area of natural health and business and is passionate about helping practitioners to establish successful and fulfilling careers.


  1. Bachelor of Health Science (Complementary Medicine)
  2. Adv. Dip Holistic Kinesiology
  3. Cert IV TAE
  4. Cert IV Small Business Management
  5. 15+ years in clinical practice
Read more by Emma Sternberg

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