About 20 years ago, I found myself having breakfast meeting after breakfast meeting with both entrepreneurs and managers of established business walking through my initial review of their business plans especially at the beginning of the year. For me, it was lead gen for follow-on consulting work, but actually expensive lead gen since it took a ton of time and way too many fattening $30 Marriott buffets. There had to be a better way, so I began the first edition of a what was then a 30-page free ebook titled... Writing the Winning Business Plan"
Certainly not the best written at the time, but bit by bit with a little help from my friends and very good constructive inputs from associates and readers, it improved and has now expanded to its current 117 pages of ideas, tactics, warnings and must-dos, all focused around the basics of what it takes to write a solid business plan. With a leaning toward entrepreneurs, I've made sure that the basics of writing business plans and the planning process itself also applies to the senior team in companies ranging approximately between $10m and $200m in revenue.
The business plan itself is important since it documents, at a point in time, the decisions of the senior team to move in specific directions with tactics and expense structures that will result in certain performance metrics down the road. More important than the actual document that's produced is the actual process of pulling the management team together to talk through, argue out, innovate new solutions and finally come together in 100% alignment. The importance of that process is that when unexpected speed bumps arise along the carefully planned smooth road, the fact that the management team has collaborated provides much easier corrections and recoveries.
Creating 100% management alignment
Alignment is the #1 most critical reason for creating a business plan.
- It's not about presenting pretty PPTs to investors and directors
- It's not about the financials; those are merely the output
- It's not about long-term visions and missions
Business planning is about the process of thinking through and coming to 100% fully-stated agreement, as a senior team of equals, both the longer-term two year strategies and especially the interconnecting of one year tactics and their resulting objectives.
Back in the day, I would update this once a year in the summer giving myself the difficult task of reading and writing on the NH beach. Not so last year in 2020, when the book went through two full rewrites in February and June and this most recent edit we added just now. We also want to thank our thousands of past readers, our attendees at our boot camps, and my students at MIT in our ME course and at MITx, our students at Singapore University, and, of course, at the Tufts Entrepreneurship Center for their comments and ideas for changes and additions.
You can click here to take a look at this new 2021 edition. During the next two weeks, we will also be updating our ebooks on Writing a Winning Sales Plan and Writing a Winning Marketing Plan
If the download does not work, go to https://www.derbymanagement.com/solution-center/business-planning-tools,
As always, we welcome your comments, edits, additions and just continuing to be connected!
HAVE A GREAT DAY SELLING & planning today!
CONFIDENTIAL SOUNDING BOARD
If at any time, you have a need for a confidential sounding as you leap into 2021 about business plan or for Sales and Marketing just connect with me at any time. Text or email me, and I'll quickly set up a call. I'm a pretty good listener.
Obviously, no cost for a call or two; just an opportunity to listen intently and make a few recommendations based on decades of experience.