Writing a business plan is easier than it sounds. You know, when people come to us and we talk about planning, people get scared. There’s something overwhelming about the concept of a plan – actually putting down what’s going to happen, assumptions, projections, thoughts about the future, talking about conditions. . . If you’re reading this you’re probably already getting scared and thinking, “Wow.” Well don’t be scared, we’ve got it covered.
Let me tell you the most important part about planning for a business situation. It’s the unpredictability – the “what ifs” in life. It’s the working through the games of what happens, the thinking about what do we do if different conditions happen. Planning can be complex matter. There are a lot of different avenues where things can go one way or another. But sitting down and thinking about it can add so much value to the business.
Time to Think. Building a business plan is great, and it does make you think about some things. Do I have enough resources? How long is this going to take? How much is it going to cost me? These are important things to think about, and it does make you work through things in a logical fashion.
“What if” Gaming. But the often uncelebrated part of planning is thinking about the what ifs – thinking about what if something doesn’t go as planned. What if we go a different direction? What if we don’t sell as much as we project? What if we sell more than we project? What if we have a disruption?
You will get stronger. The planning process forces you to put pressure on the way that you think and test various different portions of your business plan. This is where you’re going to become stronger, because business is not going to go exactly as you plan. You’re not going to sell exactly the number of items you think you’re going to sell. Your revenue numbers are not going to be exactly where you think they’re going to be. Things are going to change. Things are going to evolve.
Be Ready to Adjust. Your plan, if well done, and flexible, will guide you on how to redirect yourself and make sure that you have contingencies in place to make sure you get where you’re going. What’s been your experience with planning? What have you done in the past? How have you seen your plans go differently? How have you benefited from planning? Tell us in the comment section below. We’d love to hear from you and learn about what you’ve seen in the life of planning for your business.
This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein. This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances. This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity.
About the Author
Shawn McBride is the Chief Innovation Officer at McBride For Business, LLC. He is a frequent speaker at events. His signature keynote, The 3 Laws of Empowerment (www.yourbusinessspeaker.com), gives audiences an entertaining look at how they can prepare, plan and protect themselves. You can reach R. Shawn McBride at firstname.lastname@example.org or (214) 418-0258.
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