Sunday, April 15, 2007

Business Plan Sanity Check

For a small business or start-up, getting a "sanity check" for your business plan from an experienced consultant can mean the difference between success and failure. The small expense of having an experienced person review your business plan (or simply your strategy, whether it's written down or not) is more than recovered by the insights gained and the avoidance of costly pitfalls.

And for those of you who do not have a written plan that has been scrutinized by someone who is "business knowledgeable," recognize that you are winging it! Are your goals realistic? Are they achievable? Are they even the right goals for your business? And do you have realistic action plans to achieve your goals? Are you leveraging your strengths while minimizing your weaknesses? If you don't know the answers to questions like these, you may already be headed for serious trouble.

Too often, start-ups and small businesses don't even see trouble coming until it is too late to do something about it. That's the purpose of a well-thought-out business plan - to look ahead and increase your odds of success by avoiding likely speed bumps. The failure rate of businesses who don't take the time to think through their objectives and strategies is dramatically higher than those who accomplish this upfront and perform at least annual reviews.

Without a roadmap for your business, how will you know if you're going in the right direction? If you don't have the experience, aptitude or skills to prepare a business plan, then employ a knowledgeable consultant to help you put one together. It will be the best money you ever spend.

1 comment:

Caroline Melberg said...

Hi Al - you are so right in the fact that without a business plan ... (and I'd add, a marketing plan), small businesses are just "winging it"!

Keep up the great blog!