Judy’s Comments

2 minutes reading time (339 words)

Planning, the Key to Success

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Joe Caso
Every business needs a plan. Some create a plan to use in their quest for financing. Banks require detailed financial information and lengthy narratives. The business plans that I require of all my business coaching/advisory clients to prepare are meant for internal guidance. I review them with each entity quarterly and we make whatever adjustments are necessary. They become our game plan for the year, as opposed to a once yearly report card, that is often relegated to the bottom of a desk drawer and seldom reviewed after preparation.

Most of the plans I help create are 4-6 pages in length. My oldest client's plan is 14 pages because they have become addicted to the details included and review and adjust their plan each quarter. They have become convinced that without that level of preparation they will not succeed in reaching the goals they have set.

The plan I am about to describe has seven sections, but some of my client add an eighth, which really serves as a summary of the actions steps to be taken. Others simply review the seven sections and create a "to do" list of all the agreed upon steps that the plan calls for.

The seven sections: Overview, Industry insights, Market analysis, Competitive analysis, Marketing plan, Operating plan and Financial plan.

Overview – This is where you get the opportunity to share your vision for your business and take the time to reduce your thoughts to writing. The direction you describe will be supported by the Marketing Plan, Operating Plan and Financial Plan and should be strongly influenced by the research and analysis that you have done while preparing Industry Insights, Market Analysis and Competitive Analysis.

Be mindful to keep your view of the year as realistic as you can. If you set proper and reasonable expectations you have a much better chance of success. Positioning the rabbit at an unreasonable place out in front of the dog is a prescription for disaster.

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Thursday, 25 July 2024

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