Active Business Planning
Active business plans are plans that you use to achieve business milestones. They’re neither boring nor static! Active business plans are referenced on demand to help solve employee and money problems. However, static business plans serve a purpose. They obtain a loan, raise equity capital, find a business partner, etc. They fulfill one-off transactions. Afterwards, static business plans sit on a hard drive somewhere, lost and alone.
Active business plans are part are of your everyday life and upcoming to-do lists. They provide you with a road map when your employees are driving you crazy or you’re not earning the money that you know your business can earn. Active business plans document the systems to find new customers, retain existing customers, and solve employee problems. Here are three options for you to have an active business plan today:
Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Business Planning
If you don’t need guidance or advice writing your business plan, then do it yourself, by all means. This alternative is best for business owners with significant industry experience with their current venture. It’s also for anyone with accomplished sales experience in their current industry, and for highly self-motivated people who write well. Here are three valuable free resources for DIY business planners:
While this is a partial list, these three free resources will help you start your business plan journey. In addition, here are some books that I use to write business plans and guide me through any business-planning process:
The Art of the Start (Penguin) by Guy Kawasaki – A quality pre-business-planning tool from Silicon Valley that helps entrepreneurs raise equity capital and pitch investors better. While Guy bashes traditional business plans, I use this tool with my private ventures and in my Strategic Business Planning class at the Wharton School’s Small Business Development Center to help articulate value propositions and establish business models.
The One-Hour Business Plan (Wiley) by John J. McAdam – The author is a little rowdy, but this simple yet powerful framework stems from experiential evidence with over 1,250 business plans. Audio Tech Business Book Summaries has a great CD and MP3 version of this work (they even kept my curse words), but they are running out of CD copies if you would rather listen than read the book. Free worksheets are included, along with a free, brief business-plan review. Who could resist?
The One-Page Business Plan by Jim Horan – I enjoy this framework because it keeps the business plan active and on your desk. It also includes a toolkit that helps you stay on track.
Facilitated Business Planning
Here, experts guide you and your team through your unique business planning process. Facilitated business planning works best for business owners who need some extra motivation, structure, or accountability to complete their business plan. We’ll work hard to get you the active business plan that you’ll use—and, we’ll have some fun along the way.
Facilitated business planning is by definition collaborative. Here, we work together on their organization’s business plan and focuses on goal achievement. Conversely, business plans written in isolation by the leader tend to experience more passive aggression and challenges with implementation. While often a virtual process to control costs, this alternative works best with face-to-face meetings for the assessment and implementation phases. Call or email for pricing to suit your needs.
Abdicated Business Planning
Abdicated business planning is for the business owner who either doesn’t have the time to write a business plan, doesn’t know what to write, or just can’t get it done. While it’s expensive, you will have a business plan that you will be proud of and can use, or we will refund your money.
As a bonus, a pitch deck is included to support your mission and future business milestones. Furthermore, we include four quarterly conference calls (a full year) to help you solve problems and achieve goals.