Saturday, June 30, 2012

Why You Need A Business Plan

Great ideas need landing gear as well as wings.” – CD Jackson – American publisher

Building a business is no different then building anything, there are many pieces to put together and many details to cover. If you were building a building (whether a tool shed or a skyscraper) you would need a plan!

The process of creating a business plan forces you to take a realistic, more or less detached look at your business in its entirety.

A finished business plan becomes a tool that will help you manage your business and work toward its success.

The business plan allows you to take nebulous thoughts and put them in concrete form. It is the difference between those who merely have an idea and those who make money on one.

The importance of planning cannot be overemphasized. It is the key to unlocking the door to success. And once you open that door, what do you find? About a thousand more doors with all kinds of variables, problems, and situations. The only way you can effectively handle those variables in a business venture is to have a logical, well-organized business plan.

By taking an objective look at your business, you can identify areas of strength and weakness. You can pinpoint your needs or details you might normally overlook. A business plan will give you enough information to help you spot problems before they arise. Planning will help you determine how you can best achieve your business goals.

A business plan does several things for you:

• Helps you identify your objectives.
• Helps you develop strategies to meet those objectives.
• Helps you earmark problems and suggests ways to solve them.
• Helps you avoid problems altogether.
• Helps create a structure to your business by defining activities and responsibilities.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Planning and Implementation Go Hand-in-Hand

A plan succeeds only through action!

How many times have you heard a business owner proudly state, “I have a business plan”? Then you learn one or more of the following:

• The business plan was prepared when the business was first launched long ago.
• The plan has not been updated for years.
• The plan was prepared using a bank’s required format to help justify a loan.
• The management team does not refer to the plan.
• The plan is unwritten and exists only in the owner’s mind.
• The plan includes only general concepts and nothing specific.

A plan only has value if it helps guide implementation. That means it needs to be written and kept current. It needs to be used and referred to by the management team. It needs to include specific action items with target dates for completion.

Both plans and implementation are required to succeed. They go hand-in-hand.
If you act without a plan, you will be wasting time and money. If you plan without implementation, nothing gets accomplished.

Whatever business processes you follow, make sure they include both planning and implementation steps to ensure your actions are well thought out and your best laid plans are put into motion. The combination of advance planning and timely implementation goes a long way in building a successful business enterprise.