Now is the time to start the business planning for next year and get a business plan written. Economists tell us we’re due for a correction in the market. In fact, two years past the 8 years expected correction cycle!
Just so you know, keeping a business plan in your head might work for awhile. However, keeping a plan in your head does not work long term, especially if you have staff and even worse if you want to grow.
Did you know…
- 87% of all US businesses are under $5 million in revenue. *
- 77% are under $500K in revenue. *
- 32% are under $100K in revenue. *
- 50% of all businesses are still in business after 5 years at about the same level after year 1 or 2. **
* NAICS.com US federal government statistics, 2017
** Bureau of Labor statistics, 1994-2015
Therefore, most companies float along in a very small way in their markets.
Owners spend their time fire fighting. They spend time doing the work of the business…they’ve given themselves a job in the business. And so, owners spend almost no time working on growing their business.
Why start in the Fall for the next year
Starting early gives you time to get organized for the next year. You set expectations and goals for the next year. And it gives you a head start.
And, getting a business plan written starts the process of execution.
To get a business plan written forms the basis of all planning, however, that’s not enough.
Reasons why business plans fail
A number of reasons cause business plans to fail. A few from my experience and my client’s experiences (until they worked with me).
- Business managers view them as a one and done exercise. Spend a few hours or days and write it out. Done.
- Over time build a continuous set of tasks around business plans.
- Managers delegate business plans to another person in the company or worse yet to a consultant to write one for them.
- This results in no ownership and therefore poor or non existent execution.
- Owners and managers don’t feel ownership and they don’t build plans into projects and daily activities.
- Business plans exist only the head of the owner or manager. The owner does not believe to get a business plan written important.
- It then results in bouncing around. Not firm on commitment to a direction.
- The plans are too pie-in-sky. No one believes them.
- Next, no one takes the plans seriously. The Plan du-jour or plan-of-the-month starts happening.
- It can also result in deep disappointment and giving up when people miss goals and milestones.
- Managers do not build business plans into daily activity expectations. Yes, daily.
- This results in plans not followed even when everyone buys into them.
- Plans don’t fit into operational activities and slowly get ignored.
- Owners and manager do not build plans on strengths and talents of the company and people. They rely on weaknesses and sometime even blind spots for success.
- Then, wasted efforts happen. You waste time. You waste money and your profit.
- Resulting in activities become too hard. Obstacles seem insurmountable.
- Managers do not tie plans tightly to values.
- Prioritizing, saying “No” to non-productive activities does not happen. Decision making gets hard. Things go crazy with busy-ness.
- Then, people give up on the plans. “They don’t work anyway!”
So, what do I do besides get a business plan written?
Accept, to get a business plan written starts the continuous planning cycle. And, you take several steps prior to writing a business plan.
- Business planning always starts with a clear assessment of where you are today. In many business plans a SWOT analysis starts the process. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats of the key people, culture, and company structures.
- Business planning continues with establishing a strong foundation of values, mission, vision, your role.
- Understand your opportunities, threats in the market.
- Establish your financial, market, sales, operational expectations.
- Then it goes into developing a goals structure for monthly, 90-days, 1 year, 2 years and longer.
- Write the business plan.
- Next it establishes action plans and delegation plans with regular, frequent follow ups to track progress, make the always necessary adjustments and push to achievement.
You could download a template and fill it out. Nothing wrong with a good template. Just a template and a few hours doesn’t work without all the foundational skills and structures in place. It’s like a player showing up for football game with a helmet and a football and no skills or knowledge of the plays and hasn’t been to practices. Not gonna happen.
And, getting a business plan written forms a crucial stage in the business planning structure.
So, start one today. Get with someone to bounce ideas off. Involve people. Get professional assessments done on you and your key managers.
Need help with your business planning?
Contact us today to discuss more about getting your business planning in full swing.
We do business planning, executive coaching, manager training, professional assessments and help get those foundations in place.
Phil Bride, firstname.lastname@example.org 503-753-9971.