Here are five business plan mistakes. If we can avoid these, we will get the promised benefits of business plans including clarity, alignment, performance, and confidence.
Mistake #1: The plan is the thing. Most of the power of a business plan is not the plan itself. The real value is in the work–the research, conversations, dreaming, and thinking–that we do to write a plan.
Mistake #2: We defer to The (One) Business Plan. Business plans–like every plan–are great for guiding us and are invalid as soon as the ink is dry. Once we start executing on our plan, we get new data and insights that call us to refine our plan. If we stick with the original plan, over time, it’ll let us down. Keep planning. Don’t think, “We need a business plan,” think, “We keep on business planning.”
Mistake #3: Business plans must be precise, accurate, complete, unassailable. We’ve heard tell of the grand, intense, and detailed business plans that, once produced and presented, sit and gather dust on a shelf. Business plans must guide our days and weeks. Unless you’re putting together a tome to get a bank loan, do just enough work so that you are mostly sure. Make your plan an 80-20-rule, big-picture, one-page thing.
Mistake #4: I don’t need a plan. It’s way to easy to get lost in urgencies and never get where we’re going. Build a plan.
Mistake #5: I write the plans. People who will be accountable for delivering the plan need to have a say in making the plan. Share the burden; involve them; let them improve it.
In your corner,