Article Keyword Videos to Watch
Click on the image to start the video.
Images - Links - Articles
Why Business Plans Don't Work and What To Do About Yours
Why Business Plans Donít Work and What To Do With Yours
I am often asked to assist with writing business plans. While a business plan is often needed when you are getting financing for your business, I find that most business owners donít find them very useful. Why not? Because usually they are written from a very long term frame (typically five years) and once they are written, they are put on a shelf and never looked at again. Iím going to suggest some ways that you can get more out of your business plan.
1) Review your business plan frequently. Business plans arenít meant to be static. They are mostly a long-term strategic tool, but to be effective you need to look at them regularly and update your strategies. How often? Iíd suggest quarterly. Look at which of your strategies are working and which arenít. Do more of what works and less of what doesnít. Ask yourself why some are working and some arenít. What can you learn to make your business stronger?
2) Add a lifestyle component to your business plan. I have yet to see a business plan that includes your ideal lifestyle. Does a bank care about your lifestyle? Probably not. But you should. Take time this week to add a lifestyle page to your business plan. At a minimum, include how many hours you want to work, where you want to work, how much vacation youíd like and what schedule you want. Then go through your business plan and make sure your business strategies support your lifestyle strategies. What you may find is that youíll have to add strategies for hiring additional staff, streamlining operations, and creating better business systems.
3) Turn your business plan into an action plan. Your business plan is all about long term strategy. Itís the big picture about how youíll run your business. Take that long-term strategy and turn it into a short-term action plan. For each strategy you have in your business plan, write a short-term action plan. Include what the actual activity will be, what resources you need to do it (employees, money, time, equipment, etc) and write out a detailed plan for it including deadlines. This plan should be for the next three to six months. The action plan should include every step you will need to take to accomplish each goal in your plan.
The first time you do these exercises may take between two and eight hours. It depends on how much detail you provide. My experience shows that the more detail you include the more effective your plan is. The next time you do this (remember to review and revise this quarterly) it will take a lot less time. Each time you do this will build on the time before and your planning will become more and more effective. Now youíve got a business plan that works.
If youíd like a sample business plan that works, please email me and Iíll send you one that you can use as a model.
About the Author: Start up business resource guide and consultant, Michael Clark has been crafting best small business ideas for over 20 years. Michael is a serial entrepreneur having opened multiple successful small businesses over the last 12 years. For more small business success stories and business resource groups, visit his web site at http://biznbeyond.com.
Feel free to copy this article and post it on your website as long as you keep the link to http://www.biznbeyond.com intact and give credit to Michael Clark at Business and Beyond.