Planning for Success
C O N S U L T I N G G R O U P
Success in business is not an accident, it is not a respecter of persons and it certainly is not is not luck. Success, as many barometers measure it, is a function of patterning one’s habits and behaviors after another who has achieved the desired objective. The disciplined practice of patterning similar habits and behaviors will produce substantially similar results.
Some people consider successful people as lucky. Luck is a superstition, a fallacy, a fictional phenomenon, and a fantasy.
Success is fundamentally a simple task of working toward the attainment of a series of goals. Well thought-out goals are non-conflicting, realistic and attainable. A goal is a dream with an attainment date. Arriving at that attainment date requires an examination of the elements necessary to attain the goal, and a written plan that is realistic and broken down to monthly, weekly and daily tasks.
Whether you are operating a start-up business or a 50-year-old business, if you hope to experience growth, you need goals, and you need a plan to achieve those goals.
Many entrepreneurs and corporate executives feel that writing a business plan is a painstaking task, and some develop a myriad of rationalizations why they don’t need one. Some will state that their business plan is in their head. In reality, that is a tortured excuse for not wanting to tackle the task of writing a business plan. Creating a business plan does not have to be a painful drudgery.
The process of writing a business plan clarifies the mission and the path to follow toward achieving the goals. Business plans should not be developed with a focus on raising capital. Rather, a business plan should be developed for the purpose of operating the business and achieving the desired goals If the focus is operational, raising capital becomes a great deal easier.
Many businesses, divisions and subsidiaries fail because they do not have a clear plan. If you think about it, in any business you hope to reach a destination. Without a plan, how can you expect to arrive at a destination that does not exist?
There are many software programs available that are fill-in-the-blanks and presto - you have a business plan. No, you don’t! A software program cannot possibly take into account all of the idiosyncrasies that you must consider when you are creating your baby. Additionally, if you hope to raise equity capital, perhaps through a private placement, an investor is going to immediately recognize a canned business plan and your credibility will suffer. Even more importantly, you will set out on following a plan and a path that is probably not going to consider all of the challenges that you will face, and you will find yourself wasting time being reactive as opposed to investing your time in being proactive.
A good entrepreneurial business plan can only be authored by those who have skin in the game. The business plan needs to start with a blank sheet of paper. Start with a table-of-contents that lists the numerous considerations you need to address while growing your business.
Although this does not apply to your business, a sample table-of-contents might be something like you can see here.
The key to success is a well researched and written business plan. A good entrepreneurial business plan can only be authored by those who have skin in the game. The business plan needs to start with a blank sheet of paper. Start with a table-of-contents that lists the numerous considerations you need to address while growing your business.
Although this does not apply to your specific business, a sample table-of-contents might be something like you can see here