Thursday, October 19, 2017

Not Your Father’s Business Plan – Introduction

Things have dramatically changed over the past 30 years and yet the tools and methods used in business planning have changed very little in that same period of time. It’s no wonder that most small and medium sized businesses do not have a written business plan. Those that do rarely use it in their day-to-day business operations or for guiding the myriad of business decisions made each week.

Over the last 12 months I have reviewed many business planning packages and methods taught in a number of government, university, and private sectors. I found that almost without exception these plans and methods focus on getting financing from banks or funding from venture capital firms.

Completed plans range in length from 15 to 35 pages and are filled with financial prognostications and charts that will have little resemblance to reality within 6 months of being in business. Unfortunately this has given business plans and business planning a stigma in the business world. I find many that are turned off by the very suggestion of creating a business plan.

On the other hand, almost every business leader I meet seems to have a deep-down, gnawing sense that they need something to help them focus on what is important, with an eye toward the future, that translates directly to what they and their associates should be doing today that will make a real difference in their business.

What follows is a series of posts that explores the reality of business planning in today’s world, not the world our fathers worked in a post World War II economy.

In my next post I’ll provide an overview of the relevant trends with all live and work in, especially those affecting how we make plans for our businesses or departments.

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