My favorite questions to ask a small business owner is ” do you have a business plan” if the answer is yes, I ask to see it. The usual process is asking me to wait a few minutes until they find it. In most cases, where a business plan exist, it has not been looked at since a few weeks after it was written.
Unless the plan is a strategic focus plan, it does not contain a measurable plan which is relevant to daily operation. Creating a business plan only because someone told you that as a business, you need to have a business plan, is usually a waste of time and money.
A strategic focus plan breaks down each developed goal in the plan, into a mini plan with dates, person/persons responsible for its implementation and a time line with weekly checks for accountability. Don’t judge a business plan by how think it is. A strategic focus plan is a slim, action orientated plan, carefully developed by understanding the owners goals, budgets, market place and opportunities.
A strategic focus plan can be developed in an intense, two full day, session, or over a period of time in one to two hour segments. It is a plan to manage your human and financial resources to get profits.
The two day full session, with your facilitator present, is the best way to create a plan, the segmented process I usually do using a live, video conversation, with an owner and lots of e-mails to tweak the results.
Nobody said it would be easy to start and run a company. Just visit a local book store or library and you will find hundreds of books on the subject. Countless, expensive seminars are available as well as cd’s and videos. My process allows you to develop a unique plan which allows you to personalize the direction and goals you want your company to reach.
Without a plan, any road will lead you where you don’t want to go.