If it's summer, then it's time to do the annual rewrite of our
free ebook-Writing the Winning Business Plan
Each summer when I take a bit of time off, I spend the
majority of a week on the NH beach rereading, rewriting
and editing our ebook on how to write a business plan.
Good summer therapy for me, useful marketing content for
the business of Derby Management, and hopefully solid,
practical ideas for our customers and blog readers.
Writing the Winning Business Plan
- 15 years in publication
- thousands of downloads
- combines and balances strategies, tactics & hints
- written for the entrepreneur looking for capital
- written for the seasoned manager writing with the team
I still remember my first job as a division President of a large corporation, when I was asked to write a business plan for the upcoming year. I didn't have a clue as to where to start, but then I realized that to my bosses at Corporate, "a business plan" was merely my financial plan, which they didn't believe anyhow. Didn't seem right to me, but I dutifully followed orders and each year brought the entire company through a rigorous 3 month exercise of budgeting, negotiating and budgeting again. Not much real value to the management team, but then what did I know? Not much, so I wasted a lot of time before realizing that the financials are merely the output of the much more important strategic and tactical planning process.
Years later as president of smaller companies like Datamedix, CB Sports and Mayer Electronics, "business plans" became the bibles for me and my team. They didn't always come out as we planned, but we all worked through a joint process of creation, monthly measurements and re-planning. The plan itself then became an integral component of our annual rhythm of business with monthly check-ins, quarterly updates and fall renewals.
During those same years, I had the privilege of
volunteering as the Chair of the MIT Enterprise
Forum of Cambridge and was a board member there for 10 years. During that time, we used "business plans" as a screening device for our monthly pitch sessions in MIT's famous Room 10/250. Mostly business plans became the vehicle through which the board and experts in the Cambridge community provided advice to young startups.
Today, between our firm's business and being the Chair of Common Angels (another privilege), I probably review 30-40 "business plans" a month. The word "review" should not be interpreted as meaning "a thorough read". Some of them, I merely scan after reading the first page or two. Some, I read merely to discover if the managers have viable sales and marketing practices. And, a very few I read everything and then follow up with the manager and probably ask for more information. Many are very good, a few are really bad lacking both focus and structure, and the majority fall somewhere in the middle.
All of which comes down to why I wrote this guide:
- To provide an overview as to what a business plan should incorporate
- To give both entrepreneurs and seasoned managers a framework
- To provide an architecture of components to include or not to include
- To provide a measured flow of information and context
- ...and merely to provide guidance.
Hopefully, you will find this useful. Have fun reading it since I had fun writing and editing it.
Click HERE to download.
Also, please send me your comments...and your edits.
Plus, if you would like to contribute your own thoughts, paragraphs or pages, let me know, and, assuming they fit, I'll incorporate them right away giving you authorship credit.
Good Planning for the 2nd Half!
The 2013 Sales Management Boot Camp-Click to the left
Take a look at our new Video-Presenters & Attendees
- It's selling out quickly!
- Free "Whiteboarding Session"
- Learn about Sales Enablement
During our upcoming 2013 Sales Management Boot Camp, we'll talk a lot about the best sales planning practices of...
-Creating Value Propositions
-Hiring & Retaining the very best salespeople...plus many more topics
Late Sunday afternoon, October 6th through Tuesday afternoon, October 8th at the MIT Endicott House. Six years, 350+ highly satisfied graduates!