Are you in business? Are you starting a business? Are you expanding your business? Are you adding new products?
You need a business plan.
A business plan is not some dreamy, creative exercise about what you might want in a dream. An effective business plan is based on facts – facts as they exist right now, facts about what can happen, and facts based on different sets of assumptions about the future. A business p[lan starts with the future, defining exactly where you want to be – a vision, but one that is tested and quantified and not left in some dreamy state.
A business plan, on its own, does not grow your business. You have to do that – you do that by following the strategies in the business plan, one step at a time so that you build as you go.
A business plan is not the Oracle laying out exactly what will happen. In fact, like any plan, it starts to go awry at almost every step. But the value is not that it predicts what will happen exactly, its value lies in the fact that it prepares you for what might go wrong and lays out a clear path to get back on track by following – and adapting – in order to focus on where you want to go.
So what is a business plan?
This week I unpack what goes into a business plan, why you need it, and how you use it.
Remember: “No plan survives the first shot.”
So you set your direction and you detail enough around the direction so that you can still move towards it as things start to happen. You do not abandon your plan – you adapt, you measure, you analyse, and if necessary you create different strategies to get you there.
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