You’ve heard the saying “people don’t plan to fail, they just fail to plan”. Well, that’s not always true. Several years ago, (long enough that the statute of limitations has long passed), I was on the board of a not-for-profit organization that would consistently budget a negative cash flow for the year. They didn’t want to lose money, and didn’t think they would lose money, but they always planned to lose money. I didn’t understand that philosophy. I am certainly in favor of conservative budgeting, so if something doesn’t quite go according to plan, there are still prospects of survival.
Now that we’re in the New Year, you should have your plan for 2012 in place and have started executing that plan. Some businesses have to start executing their plan long before the beginning of any calendar period by buying inputs for commodities they grow or parts for finished goods they produce. In this case, their plan has to be more perpetual than based on a twelve month period. While I don’t believe the old Wall Street movie that proclaimed “greed is good”, I also don’t believe profit is a four-letter word. The best thing we can do for ourselves, the people that work in our companies, our local communities, and our country, is to plan to be successful and execute the plan. So, don’t fail to plan, and don’t plan to fail.