Anita Cambell of Small Business Trends has posted this interview with me on a new kind of business planning, plan-as-you-go-planning. You can download the podcast or listen online.
- Business planning — is still a part of the fundamentals of business, however, misconceptions do exist. One must realize that a business plan isn’t a straitjacket. You’re not bound to it. And one must also realize that a plan isn’t really about a plan as a document – so much as it’s about planning. And as speed increases, planning is a way to manage the ever constant ebb and flow of change.
- Plans are not a straitjacket — and a plan doesn’t mean that what you planned to do in June 2008 – you actually have to do in June 2008. It simply helps you to maintain a long-term direction while managing constant short-term changes.
- The living, breathing business plan — isn’t your father’s business plan anymore. Nowadays, a plan lives in a computer, is shared with your team, is fluid and flexible and is simply a series of reminders along your journey. It must be manipulated and adjusted accordingly and a good business plan is never finished. If your plan is done – so is your company.
- Writing a business plan — is a combination of covering target marketing and focusing on needs, wants and deadlines. It is essential to first understand that you’re always writing your business plan. And that it doesn’t matter where you start. Just be sure TO start, using whatever piece you’ve composed, immediately – and then continue to build on your plan as time progresses.
- Plans should include a combination — of target marketing, identification of the company’s strengths and weaknesses and the company focus. Each of these should relate to the other. It may be difficult to drill these down but if you view your plan as a continual work in progress – success can be yours.
- Include specifics — and a lot of them. Mainly, specifics related to cash flow and dates. Who is doing what and when, how much does it cost, how much money will be earned? What is going to happen and when is it going to happen? This is vital to business planning and you cannot really manage your company without them. List them – manage them.