Planning vs Getting Things Done
At ArchiSnapper, we’re a small group of very pragmatic people. We focus on delivering value to our customers with an easy app for field reports and punch lists.
As a small and relatively new business, we don’t believe in planning for months or years in advance.
That’s why drafting a spreadsheet that says we’ll grow at X% because we’ll do this and that isn’t really our thing. Sure, that strategy can promote a sense of calm and control for a little while. But beware, because long-term plans can make you complacent, reducing your urge to be alert and careful at all times.
And what’s the value of that long-term planning spreadsheet when new things happen every day in the real world? Customer feedback, new technologies, new trends, new competitors, and more… All of it demands that you stay flexible and open.
So, we believe more in getting things done today, tomorrow, this week.
We listen to our customers very carefully. Their most frequent feature requests — not the ones we planned for years ago — are the ones we’ll build. We have a system for logging customer feedback and suggestions, but most of the time we don’t really need it. Why? Because we always already know what’s next since our customers keep reminding us.
And with our weekly marketing meetings, we stay on top of what we’ve done and what we could do next. So, there’s no need to draft a 10-page marketing plan or list the 75 marketing tactics for the next year. We can do only one thing at a time, so what’s the point of planning for the whole year, not knowing what it will bring?
It’s difficult to plan for growth — or for whatever you want to achieve with your company. We don’t believe in a silver bullet or in, “If we do exactly this, we’ll be big.”
We just try little things that make sense and do them the best way we can, one thing after another. It’s the compounding of all these little things done well that makes the difference in the long run.
So when people ask us where we want to be in two, or three, or five years (in terms of revenue, product, employees) the answer is, We don’t know. We’ve been in business for only seven years with ArchiSnapper — how could we know where we’ll be in five years from now?
If we thought we knew the answer to that question, we wouldn’t be as alert, flexible, and open for opportunities as we are now. We don’t have a long-term plan that tells us where we’re going, so we’re always alert and flexible to make the best moves, week in, week out.
So for now, we’ll stick to our short “What’s next?” meetings and then get things done from there. After all, that’s how you make actual progress in the real world.
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