So you’re making plans for 2017. Who’s reviewing your business? Who’s challenging you to think about things differently? Without a review, you’re at risk of management myopia. So who’s reviewing your business plan?
Heading into the new year provides a fresh start of sorts for your business. The holidays are here, but business tends to slow down in many industries. Now is the ideal time to be planning for the future, to make great strides in your business, to re-think, re-tool, and re-engage your team based on lessons learned in the first 11 months of the year.
Reflecting on the lessons of the year so far and projecting into the future are beneficial exercises. Committing your thoughts to paper provides your team (and you) with a blueprint for building the business.
Are you willing to risk an end-of-year review and make adjustments to your business plan? You better be! It will be some of the best time and money you’ll ever invest. An independent business assessment provides sight into your blind spots. This reveals danger spots as well as missed opportunities.
The closing days of 2016 can be some of your most productive planning days. Don’t blow it by being content or simply checking out.
Mark Goldstein, the president of the Central Florida Christian Chamber of Commerce, often says, “No one loves the creation as much as the creator.” As the creator of a business, isn’t it great to have such devotion and love for one’s work? Yes, but, as Mark so rightly points out, there’s a side to being the creator that can bite us in the long run. Blind devotion to our ideas can lead to folly.
What if you don’t have a business plan to review? That’s manageable! There are plenty of options out there to help you, including On-Purpose Partners.
Writing a business plan need not be onerous. Know the reason why and assess the context of your business plan. Sample business plans and templates are widely available on the web. Business plan software programs are helpful. Candidly, a formal business plan is typically overkill for most small business owners unless you are raising money or borrowing from the bank.
How do I write a business plan? Here’s a simple suggestion: in lieu of writing a business plan, create a strategic plan at the top level of your thinking using The Service Model from The On-Purpose Business Person. It will help you identify relationships of essential activities in each level. You’ll also discover gaps in your thinking that may have been hidden from you under the surface of business activity and customer service and care.
There are two prominent weaknesses in the “Process” level for most small and mid-sized businesses:
- Marketing and Sales
Most entrepreneurs who start businesses often have an operations or technical expertise rather than a sales or personnel background. Pay particular attention here when creating your business plan! Get help here sooner rather than later by outsourcing to agencies.
No matter what, your business (plan) will be “reviewed” by the marketplace in terms of revenues earned. How well your customers receive and respond to your products or services will provide amazing feedback. Avoidable poor performance, however, is an expensive price to pay for just mindlessly heading into the next season.
Now, are you willing to have your business plan be reviewed? Before you invest and commit your time, money, energy, and team to a hope and dream plan, consider having your business, marketing and sales plan, and people plan scrutinized if not by me, then consider some of the resources below:
- A SCORE (Service Core Of Retired Executives) volunteer.
- Your trusted industry or business peer group and advisors.
- Me! I’m available to review your business plan and to help you refine it so you aren’t blindsided and have better success in the market.
Think you can’t afford to have your business plan reviewed? Think again! You can NOT afford to NOT have it reviewed. To paraphrase an old saying, “An ounce of planning is worth a pound of cure.”
We get annual physicals for our bodies, but what about the body of one’s work … the business? On-Purpose Partners provides an independent check-up on businesses to assess what’s working, what isn’t, and what to do about it.
Let me help you anticipate some of the land mines as well as focus your energy and effort on what matters most to get the results. I offer small business advisory packages starting as low as $1,000 for businesses with revenues less than $2 million. Email me to make the arrangements.