Published on: 18:23PM Feb 10, 2009
Why is it that a business plan seems like drudgery for most of us in business?
Maybe it is fear of falling short of our dreams or the fact that if it is in writing we feel responsible to act on it. Or maybe having a plan makes us feel like our creativity is stifled in some way. However, I think the biggest reason business planning is so neglected is we don’t fully appreciate the ongoing usefulness of having a business plan.
What I see happen to most business plans is that they are put together for a single purpose and left on the shelf to collect dust. The intention of putting the plan together was a good one, at the time, but that purpose has long since past. The original reasons might have been starting a new business line or attracting additional funding or getting a better rating from our lender. Once, that immediate need has passed we move on to running our business and the business plan has little to do with actually running our business.
I would suggest that a business plan has everything to do with running our business. When we put a business plan together we go through the steps that will make our business successful.
We identify our objective for the business and determine our direction.
We determine how we will go about meeting that objective and determine our mission.
We outline our keys to success and out together a marketing plan for our products.
We look at the market place for opportunities and threats to our way of doing business.
We identify key assumptions we have made in determine our business model.
And finally we project our financial position into the future.
Our business plan is our business compass and we can’t just leave it on the shelf. Navigating difficult economic times requires constant attention. We need the tools we can find to navigate these troubled times. One of the best tools is an up to date business plan that you plan to use to guide your business.