How business plans help with strategy, growth, funding, and uncertainty.
When I read headlines like “98% of Irish businesses have no plan in place to deal with the consequences of Brexit” I wonder to myself how businesses in Ireland engage in medium to long term strategic planning (sometimes I wonder IF they engage in medium to long term planning!).
Business planning is a fundamental strategic activity that is so often overlooked while the day-to-day running of the business attracts all the attention. Let’s talk a little about the importance of dedicating time (and resources) to the strategic – the tactical spends enough time in the limelight.
A key benefit of writing a business plan is that it forces businesses to answer the uncomfortable questions, to think about positive and negative scenarios (and how to deal with them), and to ponder long-term goals and objectives. For start-ups, it can also often be the first time that they apply serious thought and planning to the strategy necessary to achieve their goals. Business planning not only makes you think about your long-term intentions, but it’s a tool that consolidates your strategic direction early on, forming the basis of any further strategic decisions down the line.
Business Plans, Vision, and Strategy
One of the ways that business plans help to consolidate organisational strategy and action is by linking vision and its planning. In a well thought out business plan, the vision defines the strategy: strategy and long-term goals are all geared towards achieving it.
Take Uber, for example; their vision states: “Transportation as reliable as running water, everywhere for everyone”. Sure, it’s ambitious, but that’s a good thing. Aiming for a lofty goal, and ensuring that their business plan was focused on this goal, gave their overall business strategy structure.
Uber’s extremely aggressive expansion, their app development, and their aggressive push for more drivers are all a reflection of this. Using your vision when writing your business plan makes sure that any strategies, processes, and targets defined in it are all focused on a unified set of goals.
Uber's CEO's checkered past and it's workplace culture are a topic for another day!
Part 2 of this blog will follow next week and we'll look at Growth, Funding and Scenario Planning.
Business Planning Consultants
If you require expert assistance with your Business Planning needs, PRODIGEO Ltd. provide business planning, feasibility study, grant application and even Brexit planning support.
We use state-of-the-art business planning and strategic planning software.
Drop us a message to organise your free consultation.