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Making Planning a Priority

November 6, 2011

Throughout my career I have been very fortunate to have been exposed to some fairly intimate details about business planning, including things such as budget development and management, communications practices, succession planning, and long-term organizational strategic planning.

These experiences have given me some great insights into what it takes to run a business and to run it a manner that allows for the greatest chance of being successful.

In theory, much of what I have learned at work should be easily transferable to how I operate the “business” side of my hobby.  Sure, there are aspects that are unique to each situation, but in their most basic form they should translate quite well to how I should be approaching my work towards having a financially self-sufficient hobby.

The problem is that I tend to do a lot of “that would work great at home” or “I should try to apply that to my eBay Store efforts”, but never seem to get around to actually applying those ideas.

The buzz term around the office right now is “Strategic Planning”.  In its most basic sense, it is the development of a plan that will guide the organization’s activities and initiatives over the next 5-10 years.

Being involved in the project from a communications point of view has allowed me to gain an understanding of how important this plan has been, and will continue to be, to the long-term success of the organization.

My exposure to the plan and the processes involved in developing and refining it has also shown me that I am lacking such a plan for my own “business”.

It has also led me to the realization that by not having a detailed plan in place I will be fighting more of an uphill battle than is necessary to get myself to the point that I can say my goal of a financially self-sufficiency hobby has been achieved.

I realize that I laid out some goals and objectives for 2011 in a pair of posts early in the year, but make no mistake, these are not a plan.  They’re simply a list of things that ought to be a part of an overall plan and do not constitute a plan in and of themselves.  They are targets that need to be reached in order to keep the plan as a whole moving in the right direction.

To this point I have been operating my “business” in an entirely reactionary manner; attempting (and sometimes failing) to mitigate problems as they come up (i.e. not seeing the store subscription downgrade coming until it was too late) rather than proactively taking steps to help avoid some of those problems occurring in the first place.

At work, the budgets, work objectives, and desired outcomes of projects for 2012 are already having their groundwork laid.  With less than two months to go in 2011, it is time for me to start applying some of those same principles to my hobby and my “business”.

As I start getting myself ready for 2012, I am going to make it a point to look beyond just the coming year.  Where do I want my hobby to be 3 years from now?  What about 5 years down the road, or even a decade from now?

Answering these questions will take more work than simply sitting down to write an article for this blog about what I want to do over a twelve month period.

It will require a great deal of foresight and critical analysis about where my collecting projects and priorities are and will be moving.  That will then help shape what it is I need to do on the aspects of my hobby that are not related to the actual collecting (i.e. my “business” and this blog).

There’s only so much money that can be put in to my hobby, whether it be from my regular income or that generated from my “business”.  Doing things on a whim will not cut it if I want to build my collection both quickly and easily.

Bad habits need to be broken and consistency in the application of positive practices needs to be cultivated.

A legitimate plan will help make that a reality.

I am very fortunate to be exposed to what I am in my professional life.  There are things I get to see on a daily basis that easily carry over to what I spend my personal time on and it’s come time to actually put some of those things into practice.

Until Wednesday, all the best in your collecting pursuits!

Ryan

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. ausram66 permalink
    November 8, 2011 9:14 PM

    G’Day Ryan, Have enjoyed reading through your blog and hope you’re successful in becoming self sufficient, but one thing I don’t seem to recall reading is how much you’d actually have to make to be self sufficient ? While the actual figures are none of our business, are we talking about covering just the purchase of singles for your collection, numerous boxes to generate stock for selling, or even cases of product ?
    Anyway, as I said, best of luck and keep the entertaining blogs coming. You helped inspire me to do something similar and I’ve created a blog which I hope will create a presence over time to enable me to move some of the stuff I have lying around. Don’t worry, I won’t be in competition as I’m not selling Hockey ! Anyway check it out when you get a moment. It’s mostly about box breaks etc at present while I get a handle on things. http://www.passing-games.com
    Thanks,
    Trevor

    • November 10, 2011 6:28 AM

      Hi Trevor,

      Thanks very much for the comment, always great to hear from readers and even better to hear I might have helped inspire you to follow a similar plan to my own.

      To answer your question, the “self-sufficiency” I’m referring to is – in the long-run – intended to cover everything to do with my hobby from adding cards to my collection, opening boxes and cases to restock my eBay store, and even covering all of the expenses involved in running that store. I’m not there yet, but by putting a plan in place that can guide my collecting and “business” activities I think I will be able to get there faster than by just “winging it”.

      Thanks for reading (I hope you continue to!) and all the best with your own projects.

      Regards,
      Ryan

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