I have a few words of advice for first-time entrepreneurs, as well as seasoned business owners seeking to hit a fresh stage of growth. My advice is this; write your organization plan in pencil. I realize this may be a hardship on whatever you non-golfers, but the process will illustrate two important principles.
1. Change is inevitable.
I have without a doubt that you simply (the small-business owner) will shortly change, amend, modify, scrap, or abandon your original business strategy plan altogether. One of the attributes of successful entrepreneurs is flexibility. By writing your company plan in pencil it can make you have a look at change because the only constant. Make alter your friend, embrace it, and arrange it in your favor.
The logic behind why your original plan should be changed after your company is operational are myriad. It’s likely you under or over-estimated your competitors, margins, cash needs, competencies, and suppliers. Or you misjudged market need and size. Every entrepreneur discovers new opportunities that didn’t appear until there was a business working.
2. We must avoid strategic business plan worship.
When we perceive documents neatly typed (and maybe even received praise for them), we’re hesitant to change. Especially for people who attended business schools in which the plan took on the greater than life importance. People whose plans got high marks, as well as worse, won a business strategy contest, tend to feel their plan is inviolate. They also often feel that whenever they rigorously adhere to the plan it’s going to yield the riches of these dreams. I hope that this mental image of a pencil will remind you that change is great and may allow you to reach your goals.
Most small-business people that I know never wrote a business plan. In 16 start-ups, I’ve never written one. And John Altman, an incredibly successful entrepreneur, founder of six companies and former professor of entrepreneurism, never wrote a business strategy for his start-ups, either.
Most people that write a business plan do it to raise money or because someone exclaimed it is precisely what they’re meant to do. The fact is that reveal plan is only required if you want to improve money from the bank or venture capitalist. And both rarely provide a loan or spend money on initial phase companies. So your energies are wasted writing those long and thick plans.
Now don’t get me wrong. I strongly believe in planning, hardly in long, voluminous tomes that may probably go unread. For most sole proprietors, that business strategy plan can are now living in your face, or–if you must commit it to paper–with a napkin.
If you want to publish an agenda, make this happen. At the start of every year write what your goals are and specifically target new regions of distribution and also the names of new accounts that you just want to clinch. Also, put on paper what they are called of current customers with whom you need a deeper relationship and also the strategies you’ll employ to do this. This plan should only run 1 or 2 pages. I also recommend you are writing down your accomplishments and shortcomings through the previous year. While you can do this exercise primarily yourself, I would also share it with individuals my team.
As your business gets bigger, this is when those written planning documents become paramount. As your organization grows you want to make sure your entire employees are on the same page and furnished with the information on how they could give rise to the corporation goals.
It is a turnaround of commonly accepted logic to suggest you postpone the business strategy until you’ve reached a growth spurt. But, as John Altman said for this point, “If you’re going to empower the other people in your organization, do you know what; it is recommended to allow them to have a roadmap for the highway you’re on! Otherwise, they couldn’t share that vision inside your brain.”