why you need a business planning system not a business plan 2
Copyright 2005 David Coffman

When someone mentions bag planning we accept been conditioned to anticipate about writing a bag aim. There are hundreds of books and articles, tons of software, an army of consultants, and a multitude government programs to advice you inscription a bag aim. There are virtually no resources to advice you set up what today’s bag environment really demands – a continuous, ongoing planning system.

A commonly accepted theory is that for a bag to survive and prosper it must be flexible and nimble. It must be able to turn on a dime as conditions warrant. Having a written five-year aim is not allotment of this picture. In actuality, trying to chase a continued-chat aim during rampant chicken feed is not logical. It is applying linear thinking to a non-linear bearings. It aloof doesn’t assignment.

Having a formal, written bag aim is so accepted as being crucial to accomplishment that there haven’t been abounding studies or surveys to analysis this premise. If bag plans were such a admirable affair, there would be a cogent and conclusive aberration between businesses that accept them and those that don’t. Interviews of 100 founders of companies on 1989s “INC 500” list of fastest growing private companies in the U.S. activate alone 28 percent had “full-blown” bag plans. The 1993 AT&T Baby Bag Study activate that 59 percent of baby businesses that grew over the previous two age used a formal bag aim. A 1994 survey of the country’s fastest growing companies activate 23 percent lacked a bag aim. “The Accord between Written Bag Plans and the Failure of Baby Businesses in the U.S.,” by Dr. Stephen Perry, surveyed 152 failed and 152 non-failed baby businesses in 1997. He activate that 64 percent of the non-failed firms had no written bag aim. He again activate that non-failed firms had added extensive written plans than failed firms, 23 percent compared to 9 percent, respectively.

As you can beam the results of studies and surveys are all across the board and don’t prove anything. Clearly, a cogent percentage of acknowledged businesses don’t accept written bag plans. None of these studies acknowledge the attributes of the action that created the aim. Was it the aftereffect of an annual action with infrequent updates or an ongoing, continual action? As Professor Albert Shapero said, “Companies that aim accomplish bigger than companies that don’t, but they never chase their aim.”

The bull's eye needs to be on the PROCESS not on the aim. If a continual, ongoing planning action is in abode, a written bag aim is aloof not big. Writing a bag aim without a planning system in abode is a massive accomplishment that is done actual infrequently. Abounding businesses inscription three to five year plans and amend them annually. The plans are reviewed periodically during each year to analyze the aim vs. actual variances. Babyish, if any, anticipation is accustomed to strategy between the annual updates. Strategy should be the bull's eye everyday. Setting up a planning system allows and sometimes forces you to bull's eye on strategy.

A planning system consists of two functions. One is a ambition setting and attaining action, and the other is a trend watching or environment scanning action. Setting up a planning system takes several steps. The aboriginal and foremost assignment is to set aside or accomplish age for planning on a regular, ongoing basis. It must alter to allotment of your routine, not an infrequent accident that can be easily postponed. In the evaluation phase, the owner or management accumulation and the company are analyzed. From the analysis, answer or critical areas of the bag are identified. These areas are filtered down to bull's eye on the most big ones. Performance measures are curved and systems to accumulate and action the all-big data are set up, if needed. A base of current performance is used to set goals.

Any more the regular, ongoing stuff begins. Strategies are formulated, tested, implemented, monitored, and reworked until the goals are achieved. Each planning session is split between working on strategies and trend watching. As goals are achieved, the ambition setting and strategy formulation action begins again.

Let’s put the bull's eye back where it belongs on continuous, ongoing planning instead of writing bag plans. As Karl Albrecht said in his book Corporate Radar, “The majority is not always adapted, the conventional sageness is not always astute, and the accepted creed could able-bodied be flawed. The added fashionable an abstraction, the added it is likely to be exempt from critical evaluation. Breakthrough thinking sometimes calls for contradicting the most widely held assumptions and beliefs.”

About the author:
David E. Coffman CPA/ABV, CVA has authored a figure of articles, reports, achromatic papers, and books about baby bag valuation and planning topics. He founded Bag Valuations & Strategies in 1997 to assignment exclusively with baby businesses in these areas. His “Adeptness to Prosper Baby Bag Planning System” is available at http://www.bus-val-strat.com

Originall posted April 29, 2012