Mandelberg’s Business Growth Digest – August 2021 Issue
Wordcount: 554 Time to read: 3½ minutes
When I wrote a monthly column for the Sacramento Business Journal, my editors asked me to write about one of three things.
• What business leaders need to know and don’t.
• How to do what business leaders need to do and don’t know how.
• Remind business leaders what they’re supposed to be doing and forgot about.
I find a bit of magic in these three things. I’ve needed each of them at various times in my life. As I’ve aged, the most valuable has been the last one, remind me. For me, the magic in this last one exists because it’s something I seem to need on a consistent basis.
I regularly speak with a handful of highly experienced consultants. Most of the value for me is hearing how they are doing the things I teach others to do, only I get to hear it from a perspective that reminds me what I should be doing and aren’t rather than telling it from mine.
One of the fundamental things a leader needs to do is facilitate the creation of a business plan before each business cycle.
The business plan is one of the most basic business documents and one of the most heterogeneous. There is no universally accepted definition of what a business plan is or what should be in it.
On August 24, 2021, an Google search for “how to write business plan” returned 43,400,000 results. How can there be 43,400,000 explanations of how to create something as common as a business plan? While there is more than one way to fry an egg, I doubt you can find 43,400,000.
Keep it simple. A good business plan identifies desirable objectives and how to achieve them. A business plan is your company’s GPS or Thomas’ Guide, mapping the route to those objectives.
To be successful and achieve these objectives, everyone needs to work as a team. Preparation is essential for helping everyone understand where you want them to go. Staff can’t read your mind or know how to adjust to unplanned detours. Without a shared business plan, staff will have to fill in those blanks themselves. Left to their own devices, they will unintentionally create chaos out of whatever you’ve planned, taking off in different directions you don’t want them to go.
Providing your fellow travelers with a written plan will help ensure no one gets lost along the way. Having one will make everyone feel more secure, confident they’re working toward the same goals. It will also significantly improve the likelihood of achieving your objectives.
Creating, documenting, and implementing a business plan has seven benefits: Foresight, Engagement, Alignment of Staff, Planning, Communication, Resources, and Financial.
As the first benefit of a written plan, the likelihood of unexpected occurrences and need to react to them is lessened. It helps you and your staff think things through and be prepared. By determining the path you’ll follow, you’ll be less distracted and better prepared to accommodate unexpected change.
I’ll talk more about each of the other six benefits in subsequent newsletters.
The routine of creating a regular business plan can be difficult to start. If you want to talk about how to do so in your situation, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a 20-minute call. Include “ROADMAP” in your subject line for a faster response.