Why have a business plan?

“How in the world can we get there if we don’t know where we are going”? That’s a question your people may be asking more often than you think! Better planning means fewer “fires”, fewer “emergencies”. Fighting “fires” costs money and fewer “fires” means greater profits…It’s that simple. And these days, when profits, real profits (like more cash in the bank!)are harder than ever to come by, the risk of not planning for any size business is just too high to be acceptable.

Heard over the years…

Excuses for Not Planning

We’re doing OK without it.

Why bother?

Everything around here changes every day! There’s no time.

We’re too busy running the business (“firefighting”)!

Also heard over the years…The Tremendous Value of a Strategic Business Plan

We have better communication throughout the company because everyone knows where we are heading. We all know what is expected of us and there is a way to measure how we are doing. Most important, management can concentrate on the few areas that are truly vital to our success.

Good business plans translate into more profit, more cash flow, and a better lifestyle for each member of the management team. 

What are the typical shortcomings of business

Not in Writing…If they exist at all, they are in the mind of the entrepreneur in vague, abstract form and no one knows what is really on his or her mind. They can guess, but they usually guess wrong. (That can lead to expensive mistakes)

Short Time Span...The goals are short term (one year) instead of long-term (three to five years).

This year’s budget is NOT a business

A solo effort...the business plan is developed in a vacuum, with no participation by key employees or managers. Your good people think it’s their company also. They need to be included in the process of developing the business plan.

No, Follow Through...If there is a plan, there is no procedure in place to track results versus the plan. There is no established procedure to keep the plan updated (at lease annually).

Business planning is an ongoing process. Look at how your business has changed over the last five years or so. It’s going to change to an even greater degree in the next five years.

The best way you can stay in control of the rapidly changing business world is through a strategic business plan that has been well thought out by all members of your management team, is in writing, and is revised on a regular schedule. Monitoring progress regularly and taking whatever corrective action is necessary on a timely basis will help you and your business achieve its goals.

Your strategic business plan is the beginning of getting your business ready for the dramatic changes sure to come! Coachella Valley SCORE has many qualified mentors with extensive business experience in many industries that will be happy to help you get started on your road to higher profit. Book your mentoring session today

George Karlin, SCORE Mentor – Plan for Success