June 5, 2011

Best Laid Business Plans


You Need a Plan

With few exceptions, no one ever becomes wildly successful without some sort of - albeit flexible - business plan. You need to set realistic actionable objectives or you will get lost in tactics. Crashing and burning are often the next step waiting for you.

I've always prescribed to the "strategy before tactics" mantra. You need to set 2-3 objectives for the next year and then build out necessary activities to ensure they are accomplished. Simon Sinek changed that when he reminds us that we need to know why we're doing any of it in the first place.

A Plan is Not Enough

Business plans don't have to be verbose literary masterpieces which no one will read, never mind execute. They should be clear and the content should point to what the company actually wants to carry out. But like mission statements, they are often created with the best of intentions in a controlled environment known as a boardroom.

Business objectives should include realistic market perspective, company financial realities and unbiased summation of stakeholder talent. Anyone can say "make more money this year" but can you really pull it off when you take into consideration your products or services, competitive situations and appropriate cash flow.

How can you ensure your business plan doesn't go sideways as soon as the reality of life hits it in the face?

Kneale Mann

image credit: youintegrate
 
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