Having a detailed & dynamic plan is integral to any successful business – even if every milestone is not hit.
So…why are you actually writing a business plan?
If you are writing a business plan purely to sell your business and management team to potential investors – stop what you are doing instantly. Most investors do not judge your business on a deck alone – it is your focus, your ambition and your ability to execute that they buy into.
Developing your plan is an opportunity to step back and reframe your ambition. This means working backwards, developing milestones and, in turn, holding your entire business to account. This will bleed through everything – the first market you penetrate, the waterfall points for expansion and what this means for how your pricing, team and sales strategy needs to be shifted.
Beyond maintaining focus, planning also manages change – it should be reviewed once a quarter or once a year – this will enable you to face into change as you scale.
The common business plan pitfall: lack of focus
Being vague, ambiguous, or trying to be all things to all people will mean one thing: mediocrity. Mediocrity in what you can offer, because you are never going to be remarkable for all. Mediocrity in your execution, as you are trying to do too much for too many people.
Parkinson’s Law states that work expands to take up the time available to finish it. You must focus every minute of your day to achieving the end-purpose.
Be ambitious but realistic
Realism should be used to portray sobriety and credibility. It should manifest itself in management meetings that discuss real accomplishments, rather than fluff. It should manifest itself in credible market forecasts. It should manifest itself in sober assumptions of the company’s growth forecasts.
It is not enough to describe how your business will look at each different stage – but you must identify the execution it will take to get to each one. What is the waterfall point? What will have to change about your business model to unlock this next stage?
Our business planning methodology:
In order to create the business plan you must face in and ask yourself some challenging questions – decide the route you want to take and execute this.
We hosted a workshop in conjunction with London & Partners workshop this week and we used the MATE system to begin to probe into the key questions:
Market – What is your TAM? What does your competition look like? How are you going to capture that market in the face of competition?
Ambition – What are your financial and growth projections and how are you justifying them with your traction? What are the milestones you need to hit?
Tech – Where is your Technology today? How is it evolving and how have you mapped it out? How exactly have you structured your pricing?
Execution – How are you leveraging your management’s skillset? How are you executing from an operational standpoint? How are your sales and distribution networks going to be built out?
If any of these challenging questions resonated with you and you want to hear more about the MATE system get in contact with us at firstname.lastname@example.org