Business planning. It seems like such a simple topic. And many of us were taught about it at school or throughout our careers. What’s more to think about this boring topic?
We all know how to do it, right? Decide what you should do with your business and then put all the components into a written document. Done!
Not so fast! One of the first issues you’ll hit in business planning is how long should your business plan be. And it really depends on who your audience is. Investors are going to get a different business plan than perhaps the internal planning document made for an internet entrepreneur.
The common thread stays the same. Write down what your business is, what resources you have, take a look at your assets, the market, build some projections and tell folks where you’re going with the business.
Amazing! The business plan is done.
Or is it?
That’s what this article is about. What’s missing in your business plan.
You see this tried-and-true advice on business planning really misses something important today.
What are you talking about Shawn?
What is the most common problem in all business plans today?
They come from the wrong place. Almost every business plan I see today talks and terms up where we are now and how we can capture an opportunity.
So? Isn’t that what a business plan is?
Yes and no. That is exactly what a business plan has been. As an attorney and a business strategist I’ve seen thousands of business plans. So I know, yes, that’s what a business plan has been.
But that’s not what a business plan should be. And it’s not what is going to work in the future.
You see, the world has changed. We’re no longer living in a static environment.
Take a look at your job. Take a look at your business. How much has changed in the last 10 years? In the last 20 years? It doesn’t feel like the pace of change is increasing?
So why are we still making business plans that are based on things staying the same and being static? How can so many people living in today’s world not anticipate a changing future?
It just doesn’t make sense.
So What Should We Be Doing, Shawn?
We should be building business plans based on the future. We need to go a step beyond where we are now and think about where the market will be in the future as our business evolves. Where we are now really doesn’t matter. What matters is where the market will be as our business rolls out.
Technology companies get this already. They plan apps and solutions based on the anticipated future processing power and capabilities of new equipment. What we’re talking about is bringing something similar back to our businesses.
It’s easy to see. Technology and their markets are changing. We cannot build business plans today assuming that the market of 2, 3 or 5 years from now will be the same. It’s just not the case.
We need to be dynamic in our business plans and understand that the market is changing around us.
We Are All in the Forecasting Business.
It used to seem that forecasting was a specialized field for a certain people who spent their time projecting the future. But not so anymore. We are all in the forecasting business now.
Every one of us is responsible for making projection. We all have to think about what tomorrow looks like and how we will build from there. Quite simply the market is changing so fast and things are developing so fast that we are all responsible for anticipating the future.
Now some of this is simple. And some of this is harder. We just need to be tuning in to what the market is doing and taking that into account. Tune in to shows and topics on it on the future business, like my Future Done Right™ Show and you will have taken big steps to own the future.
We’re not talking about putting massive effort in the forecasting we’re just talking about making it part of our thought process and the way we do things.
So How Do We Do Business Planning Differently?
It’s each of our jobs to build our business plans based on what the market will look like as our business is growing not based on our business is now.
Blockbuster and Kodak are to the classic examples of companies that didn’t pay attention to the future. Stories like theirs are becoming more common. I don’t want you to be the next one.
So next time you write a business plan, or read someone’s else’s, look at the anticipated changes to the market and whether they are accurately dealing with those issues.
This will be a game changer.
Future Done Right™ YouTube Channel – Check out this YouTube Channel for interviews and discussions about the future of business.
FREE preview copy of Business Blunders! – This is my first book and it looks at common business mistakes that I’ve seen in my years of working with business owners. This will allow you to avoid those issues in your business!
And a little Thank You?
If you like this article can you leave a clap for it on Medium.com?