Business Planning must be broken because so few of us do it!
Business Planning has been broken by those who position it as having to be anything from twenty-five to fifty pages in length. Who are they? They are government agencies that purport to support small business, commercial bankers (small business bankers rarely ask for a business plan anymore) who need a business plan to assess your company’s financial request, consultants who want to write the plan for you, and accountants who want to generate cash flows for you.
None of these business plan sources, or the business plan formats they recommend, help you to be a better, smarter, and more focused business owner.
Business Planning is broken because you have let others prepare it for you. Do not have someone write your business plan for you. You will pay $5,000 to $25,000 for the plan and it will do nothing for you.
Consultants have broken Business Planning by suggesting that they can create a business plan for you so that you can get a loan from the bank or other financing source. They charge big sums of money for that plan so it has to be big. Big is impressive, isn’t it?
What’s broken with this approach?
- The business plan will be their interpretation of what your business can/will become
- It’s a story, not a business plan
- It costs too much because it has to be big
- It’s prepared for the wrong audience
- They don’t guarantee you’ll get the financing so when you are declined you have nothing
- It will end up in your credenza collecting dust because it has no relevance to you, it cost too much and it didn’t get you what you thought it should
- You’ll have a deep distrust for all other business advisors who could truly help you with progressing your business if you let them anywhere near you
I feel you nodding your head in agreement.
You’ve all heard it. Here is what was wrong. First, your banker is a relationship manager, not an approver, so they will tell you that anything is possible just in case there is a chance of getting it approved and they can meet their monthly target. Secondly, they don’t give you any guidance on what resource to use for that business plan. They don’t have any, nor do they know where you can find a business plan. Banks now offer a do-it-yourself business plan on their websites. It is just a, “Hey, you go figure it out and bring it back to us when it is done.” Thirdly, once you get the business plan completed, you find out that of the twenty-five to fifty pages you create, they use maybe 15% of it. They don’t have time to read the story either.
Have you ever noticed how, when you are approved for the loan, no one from the bank ever holds you accountable for doing what you said you were going to do in the plan? As long as your payments are current or your operating loan is fluctuating and your collateral is intact, your business plan becomes as irrelevant to the bank as it is for you. The bank knows you didn’t write it!
I’ve learned over my career as a management consultant that the real measure of a business leader’s character is their ability to be focused on the success factors for their business, measuring the business against those success factors and having some form of consistent and sustainable business plan that aligns and holds their team accountable to the delivery of the success factors. Business Planning is IMPORTANT!
WHAT’S THE NEXT STEP?
1. You can find out more about what a business plan is and its importance with the international best-selling book CHAOS; How Business Leaders Can Master the Power of Focus. Get your FREE copy HERE
2. Use our FREE business planning program FOCUS Yourself; A 7 Module Business Plan Program. This is not a business plan template; it is a full business plan that is EASY and FAST, making your plan SUSTAINABLE and entirely PRACTICAL. Start your business plan NOW
3. Not sure why you need a small business plan? REGISTER for a FREE FOCUS Discovery Consultation where you will talk business, your business, with international best-selling author James Burgess
4. Challenge yourself to FOCUS Your Business In Just 30-Days and learn how to build a business that will THRIVE not just survive with our FREE webinar HERE.