Business Planning Is More Than Just a Plan

We have a coach that met with a business owner who asked to meet because his business was in dire straits. When they assessed the business situation, it was apparent that the owner, who had been in business for about a year, had made a litany of mistakes that put his business on the brink.

However, when the coach asked to see his business plan, he proudly showed a 20+ page document that looked great, and had excellent detail. Upon further review, the proforma numbers were unrealistic, and many of the action plans had either not been done or were done very poorly. It seemed that his attitude was “If I have a great plan, my business will work.”

A recent federal survey of business in the United States found that over 80 percent of new businesses will fail within the first five years. Many of these failures could have been prevented by having comprehensive business plans aimed at guiding the business. Yet how many of these same businesses do have excellent plans, and still fail? I’m sure the numbers are staggering.

Why is this the case? In many cases, the business owner goes out and downloads a generic business planning template, fills in the blanks, and once it allows them to get their SBA loans, this document goes into a desk drawer to gather dust.

Templates or business planning software does not have the intuitive ability to ask the tough questions of the owners, push them to think through where their business is heading, and then stay with them to make sure the plan is executed with discipline and precision. 

Many recruiting agencies have similar stories with new job seekers. The prospective candidates express frustration with their job-hunting efforts. The recruiter finds that the candidate usually had a “Canned Resume” from one of the many software programs, and then wondered why the resume wasn’t working for them. Once they took ownership of their career, the results were dramatic.

It works the same way with the business owner. When the business owner subjugates their plan to a cookie-cutter process the results are almost as bad as if they had never had a plan.

Take ownership of both your 3-5 year strategic business plan and your next 90-day tactical plan to deliver the results you desire.

"Only Action gets you closer to your dreams - do something today that your future self will thank you for."


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