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Business Plans 101

by mel starrs on July 26, 2007

in Management

Guy Kawasaki (one of my must reads) has an interview with Tim Berry about Business Plans.  It’s a corker and I’d love to quote it all but I’ll stick to a few of my favourites:

On who should read the plan:

…The (busiess) plan is by you and for you and if tracking it, reviewing it, managing and executing it aren’t important to you, then you don’t understood planning. Planning isn’t about the document; it’s about controlling your destiny, running your business better, setting goals and tracking progress, and keeping your eyes on the horizon while not tripping over potholes in front of you. If you’re not going to read it regularly, then don’t ask anybody else to.

On what are important qualities in a plan:

…cash flow. Growth spurts in a company are good things, meaning more sales, and presumably more profits, but unplanned growth can suddenly sucks up liquidity and in the worst cases kill the company. Growth without prior planning can be as fun a hard kick in the stomach.

Common mistakes:

…You don’t postpone life while you’re developing a plan; you’re always developing the plan. In the meantime, “Get going.”

…The absolute worst business plans ever, anywhere, are those plans in a drawer somewhere. If you’re not keeping it alive, it’s not planning; it’s just a plan. It’s history. It’s of no business value.

Go read it, and then apply it to your business plan (and please don’t tell me it’s stuck in a drawer)…