Business plans are a bit like tornados. There is a core that is tightly woven and concentrated and from that core there are a number of spin-offs even as the tornado keeps moving. An effective business plan is always concentrated on the ultimate mission, in constant motion, and ready to spin-off whatever is needed for a long-term successful business.
The power of tornadoes has been witnessed by thousands of folks over the last couple of years. They can wreak incredible damage if anyone or anything in its path is not prepared. The business plan can be a powerful tool for business success but can also cause a lot of damage if it is never amended to take into account what blocks its path. For example, a new competitor enters the marketplace and your business fails to respond because it’s not in the business plan.
High quality business plans are never really completed because they need to keep moving with the market, the customers, the competitors and the economy. One of the reasons so many companies failed during the Great Recession was due to inertia. They insisted on doing business according to the business plan that was not updated to accommodate the new economic conditions. There are also thousands of business that have failed or are failing because they did not respond to changing consumer buyer habits.
Right now there is national big box company relying on showroom floors that is struggling to survive in a market where customers have changed from buying computers and equipment locally to buying online. If the company had stay tuned to the marketplace, and revisited and adapted its business plan, there is a good chance that management would have developed alternative selling strategies that improved its competitive position.
The business plan is the core plan and from it you need to spin out changes, market responses, new opportunities and so on. The core of the business plan does not change from its inception, but the details will change with the competitive environment. The business plan should not be like a tornado wreaking savage damage because it refuses to change course. The path should always be well-defined and obstacles removed through strategic planning.
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