Most Business Plans are too complex, often resulting in a 30 to 40 page one-off document intended for investors or banks and so they are never used to help manage and grow the business. As well business owners often don’t have the management skills to sit down and write their own operational Business Plan.

My approach has been to develop an operational Business Plan that will help the business owner manage and grow their business. The Business Plan is just for them and not for a bank or investor. The e-book explains the why and how and involves seven simple steps and six one page worksheets that help get you from sitting down and talking about “where am I now” right through to “how am I going to get there”. The result is a one page Business Plan and a series of Action Plans that the business owner can actually implement.

Goal Setting
At the core of the business planning process is the setting of goals. My preferred approach is to use an extended SWOT Analysis because:

  • SWOT Analysis is a well-known tool and provides an excellent bridge between ‘The Now’ and ‘The Where’ of business planning
  • It can be readily combined with other approaches such as business model innovation, blue ocean strategy and mind maps.

However, the business planning process does not preclude other approaches to goal setting (if preferred) which fit with the business plan template.

Helpful Hints
In using my business planning process you may find the following to be helpful hints:

  • Opportunities and Threats are usually external to the business whereas Strengths and Weaknesses are internal
  • The Opportunity Cost component of the extended SWOT may be viewed as optional
  • The 5 pillars can be extended to 6-7 and renamed if you feel this is a better fit for your business
  • Actions are equivalent to manageable size projects.

I offer this e-book to download FREE.

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