It’s better to know a little about business and to put your knowledge into action than to know a lot about running a business and not putt that knowledge to work.
Developing a business plan is an educational process. There are many versions of business plans and they all serve different purposes. A good business plan should not be judged by the thickness of the final plan; there are several necessary criteria by which a business or marketing plan should be evaluated.
First, let’s look at the content. By understanding the function of a business plan, the necessary content can be identified.
- The purpose of a plan should be to provide a measurable action plan to grow a business.
- The important parts are:
- History of owners/management and company
- Identifying individual and company values
- Creating a vision statement
- Strengths and weaknesses ( includes resources analysis)
- Identifying and prioritizing goals
- Developing strategies to achieve those goals
- Having an accountability system build into the plan.
- This represents the “guts” of a good plan. it may be only 15 to 20 pages long. The balance of the plan is the implementation of the action items, the constant review to keep on the right path and to make necessary adjustments as markets change.
Second, is the experience of the consultant you hire to facilitate the development of the plan.
- Items for consideration:
- Back ground experience: if you are growing a small business, a consultant whose only experience is working within large firms may not have the start up or unique growth support that a small business needs.
- Ask the consultant his vision and priorities for growing a small company
- Ask how action items are to be developed, implemented and the accountability factor.
- Ask about the level of experience in working with small businesses
I recently met a business instructor at our local university. He is teaching in the MBA program. He shared how proud he was that he went straight through from undergraduate, to master’s degree and finally his doctorate and got hired by this university to teach. These students will get no real life experience from this teacher, only book learning. Although this instructor has a side business as a business plan developer, I could not endorse him at this time.
Have an overall plan that focuses on the basics and implements each prioritized strategy until the goal is reached.
I am looking for a lot of men who have an infinite capacity to not know what can’t be done. Henry Ford
Nick J. Petra CFP Our only business is helping you grow your business© www.strategicduck.com