Burn the Business Plan

Burn the Business Plan

The most rewarding things in life are often those that challenge us the most. This is also true in business. Success takes time and most entrepreneurs, new and seasoned professionals, do not allow themselves the time it takes to see the fruits of their labor. Patience, persistence, and a whole lot of planning are of key importance to driving a business toward growth. But throw out idea that success depends on a well drafted, traditional business plan. Chances are you’ll find it unnecessary anyway. It will gather dust while you go about the business of running your business.

Prepare But Don’t Limit

About 99 percent of startups use personal finance options such as their own savings and money gathered from friends and family. It is only the remaining 1 percent of new businesses that seek capitol from angel investors thus requiring an actual business plan despite the reality that these well-laid plans offer a false assumption of success and growth.

Formal business plans are an outdated formality that requires a great amount of time and effort to create with no guarantee of positive results. In fact, some of the best known and most successful companies started and continue to operate without a formal business plan. These include Apple, Facebook, US Steel, and Microsoft. So how do companies develop, operate, and grow without that initial skeletal structure to follow? The answer is Focus Planning.

Focused Planning Promotes Growth

Most entrepreneurs are surprised to find themselves in the entrepreneurial arena. And, interestingly, the vast majority has roots in engineering or mathematics rather than formal business training. And this makes sense because at the heart of entrepreneurship is problem solving, which is the primary wheelhouse for folks in those fields. But they have to possess the passion and determination necessary to follow through. To achieve success, they have to have a plan, a goal, and a vision … plus a way to work towards those things.

Don’t burn the entire business plan. Instead have different types of plans you can execute on. Focus Planning provides structure that is less concrete than a formal business plan. It employs measurable strategies such as key performance indicators and accurate job descriptions. Performance should be evaluated at least once per year with quarterly check-ins and frequent (daily, if possible) feedback to employees.

When your business is growing, it essentially becomes a new company with new challenges and new goals. Growth Plans that include sales projections and organizational charts are essential tools for success. An organizational chart is a way to lay out where your company is today and where it will be in a few years, and again in five to six years. For example, so often in smaller companies it is the owner getting in the way of growth. An organizational chart can help focus on current roles and talent while preparing for staffing needs in the future.

Start with a 90-Day plan

Employees and Leaders can use this tool to stay on track and move the company in a positive direction. Pick the top two or three priorities for your role or for the company. Work diligently on these priorities and when another project or opportunity is presented, ask yourself or your leader if this new project is more important than the current leading priorities. If the answer is yes, then move the project or duty deemed less important to the “parking lot” or put it on hold and begin to focus on the new top priorities. If the answer is no, then park or pass on the new project or opportunity because it is not going to move you towards success.

Reading Material
Burn the Business Plan by Carl Schramm


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