Get a Plan and Increase Your Chances for Success

Aug 18, 2015

All human endeavors are enhanced by adequate planning.  While extensive and formal strategic planning sessions may not be the best spend for small or family owned enterprises, these organizations will benefit immensely from informal but focused planning.  

Business Plans are a Necessity for All Companies

Companies need a road map to keep people moving together toward the same goal.  As soon as there is more than one person involved in an organization, there is a need for planning, communication and process in order to counteract the natural tendency for efforts to be disbursed, somewhat like loose horses running in every direction, with no particular destination in mind.  “Written plans help reduce gray areas through the act of writing in black and white” (paraphrased from Alyssa Gregory – sbinformation.about.com).  The plan is based on a shared understanding of competitive conditions and the definition of a target market for the company.  The plan becomes a communication tool and efforts are then corralled toward an agreed upon destination.

The very act of developing a plan helps people formulate decisions because the process itself takes the participants through a reality check and helps them generate new ideas.  The end result is an action plan to take the company forward toward common objectives. 

Beyond the operational need for a solid business plan, it is unlikely that a company will find a bank willing to finance the operation if there is not a plan in place.  Investors will not normally invest in a nebulous enterprise without a written business plan.  Employees, customers and vendors will all appreciate knowing the overarching plan; efficiencies come from a written document that negates confusion and invalid assumptions made in a vacuum.  Profits are improved when there is a plan and business practices become more efficient.

Planning begins with the decision makers of medium sized companies or the entire staff of small companies meeting together in a comfortable location where they will not be disturbed --- probably for an initial day-long session.  This does not need to entail expensive venues or catered food.  The process also does not require a consultant that charges $5,000 per day + expenses.  Keep the meeting within the culture of the company so that people are able to relax and contribute to the process.  Meet in the mountains or have a picnic.  Find a quiet corner in a pub.  Do whatever fits with the company culture.

 

The Benefits are Worth the Effort and Help is Available

Companies absolutely need a plan in order to survive and thrive.  While there may be some people who say they are content to live with the status quo, it is generally felt that being the market leader, even if the market is a niche, results in considerably better margins.  In some respects bigger is better (paraphrased from Grant Cardone at entrepreneur.com/article/242865).  It is hard to imagine how a company could grow without being able to obtain bank financing or attract investors or partners.  Developing a business plan does not need to be an onerous or expensive task.  Companies just need to start down the path.  Get the help that is needed.  Call me to get exactly the help you need and keep the costs and time commitment reasonable.

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