The”NEVER FINISHED” Business Plan
Growth requires a strong foundation.
First let’s identify what a business plan should be. It really is a Vision Plan with the ultimate goal of the plan being to reach and maintain your vision. While it still exists as the preferred way of developing a business plan, the days of sitting in a room for two to three, 8 hour days and knocking out a business plan has proven to be ineffective. This method of business planning has several uses; one is to say that you have one and secondly to show to a prospective investor. Unfortunately, too often, this type of business plan ends up gathering dust on a shelf.
In today’s world of constant change a business plan has to be a living document that is always ready to adapt to the current environment. There is, however, a foundation that never changes. It is the glue that forms the basis for the firm’s existence.
The elements that we pulled together to form this foundation are: The Vision, The Why, The Story, The Detailed Description of the product /service, The target Market identification & validation, the Value Proposition, The Promise and The Delivery. These eight items should not be kept in your head. They have to be written down and promoted. Everything else that comprises the Vision Plan is based upon the answers to these 8 factors.
The foundation is further defined by the financial capabilities and needs as well as the legal structure.
Last but not least, the foundation building process is finished with the Brand Development including logo, colors, tagline, etc.
Now comes the living and ongoing action part of the Vision Plan, the ongoing look at internal systems and marketing.
With the foundation in place the Vision Plan can go into whatever direction is needed at a specific time. We have over 40 pieces that can affect the business’s growth and profitability, all of which can change as the environment changes.
Just as your business is a living entity, so should your action based Vision Plan be.
Tips & Advice by Nick Petra, CFP – Founder of Strategic Duck and BizQuack
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