When Good Is Better Than Perfect


Well, it’s May. And that means as I write this (mid-April), you have been thrust into the busy spring season, whether you were ready or not. Some of you were even encountering spring business earlier than normal – four to five weeks earlier in some areas, a contractor in Idaho recently told me.

So when spring sprung in your area, were you ready for it? Did you have the perfect plan of attack to greet the season whenever Mother Nature finally delivered it your way? Was your business plan revised and polished? Were your trucks and equipment primed, maintained and ready to roll? Were you fully staffed and was your team trained and on the ball? Was all of your snow equipment properly cared for and tucked away for the season? Did your marketing plan kick off early enough to positively impact your spring sales? Did you raise prices for the season? Do your customers know you raised prices for the season?

I’m betting that you didn’t have all of these things planned to perfection before you started the spring season.

Ah, the perfect plan. Sure, it’s a secure, warm, protected place where everything is operating just so and nothing strays from the structure you have laid out. There’s no fear or worry because the plan is so perfect that it automatically adjusts, adapting to market changes.

But is that how we operate … really? Have you ever had a perfect season or a perfect year? Is any plan really that great or that intuitive?

Of course not. The perfect plan does not exist.

And is this really a bad thing?

“A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week,” as General George S. Patton said. Voltaire also wrote, “The best is the enemy of good.”

Plans go wrong. It’s a fact of life. In our search for perfection, we often miss the opportunities that are right in front of us to execute a decent plan now versus waiting indefinitely to embark on the ever elusive perfect plan. No matter how hard we try, we cannot predict every road block that may come our way during the season. In planning, you will always overlook something… and you’ll need to improvise and adapt to get things done regardless. And that perfect plan will never be perfect, so things will never get done. This is why a reasonably good plan carried through with promptness and determination today is always better than a more perfect plan prepared slowly and with hesitation.

So as you’re putting out business fires, worrying about that marketing plan you haven’t perfected or that strategic plan you haven’t finished, stop and do something toward accomplishing one of your goals today – not tomorrow, today.

Using an industry analogy, just “get your hands in the dirt” and success will be yours this year.


Nicole Wisniewski