Successfully climbing a mountain requires careful planning. Typical considerations may be:
Unfortunately when it comes to business we often don’t spend the same amount of time and energy on planning for it and yet “the plan” forms the most essential tool to guide the success of our business in the future.
Historically, a business plan was a formal documentation of the activities of the business, detailing strategies, marketplace dynamics and competitor analysis, guidelines for how the business should go about achieving its goals, organisation structures, financial/operational risk analysis, etc, etc. The plan was usually supported by a set of projected financial statements and/or a complex implementation roadmap.
Unfortunately things are moving far too rapidly these days and putting your plan down on paper just seems like too much hard work when you know it won’t be relevant in a few months time anyway. …but this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make!
You still need a plan – it doesn’t have to be something you use to tie the boat up to – it should be concise, action-focussed and only include things you need to know, totally aimed at helping you reach your goals. Its job is to help you focus on what’s important NOW and then provide a way to measure your progress as you go to see if things need any adjustments along the way.
The old way was to spend some time (usually a very small amount of time) thinking about all the possibilities (marketers call this Blue Sky thinking) and then work through a very rigid linear process to move from strategy to objectives to products to markets to pricing & promotion to systems to actual implementation, so as to ensure the required activities were recorded and processes defined to secure the right resources, mitigate all the risks, manage the budgets, etc, etc.
…but things are changing so quickly we could spend all our time revising the plan and never getting down to actually doing anything. …you have to be ready to see opportunities that fall outside that narrow scope of linear thinking you used to develop the original plan or be prepared to go to the market with something you haven’t done before, often this can be in partnership with someone who has.
The plan should include specific goals, the conditions needed to reach the goal, identified obstacles to success and practical ways to overcome those barriers. It should be easy to update as things change, easy to scale as needed and easy to communicate with your team, customers and partners.
Take a minute to consider these thoughts as they might apply to the future of your business…
We work alongside our clients in their businesses to:
Contact Us now to discuss our successful 7 step worksheet-based process for building your business plan and creating a roadmap which will guide you towards achieving your goals.