Ten Pillars Of Small Business Planning

Small business planning is a dirty phrase in small business. The business planning process is begrudgingly undertaken in the same spirit as doing the filing and putting the bins out.

70% of all small businesses in the UK don’t have a business plan.  Can you imagine leaving your wedding day activities to chance?   Just show up on the day and see who turns up.  Of course not.

Business plans are usually produced in reaction to an external request.   You’re trying to raise some money and the bank manager or potential investor says “where’s your business plan?”  So you reluctantly sit down and start writing.  And it hurts every step of the way.   Planning possibly the most exciting adventure of your life with as much enthusiasm as a visit to the dentist.

Entrepreneurs avoid writing small business plans because:

– they hate writing
– they think they don’t need one
– they haven’t got time

But there is another reason entrepreneurs hate constructing a business plan, a more concerning and uncomfortable one:

Small Business Planning forces the entrepreneur to confront key issues which otherwise might be ignored.

This one uncomfortable truth should give us the bellywobbles.  We cannot sideline any issues in our new business.  To do so will be suicide and we know it.   We have to plan.

How easy it is for us to busy ourselves and push critical, but brain-aching, issues to the back of the queue. It’s ok though because we’re really busy.

But fear not. With a bit of mental readjustment we can turn this apparent chore into something more pleasurable, even eagerly anticipated.

5 reasons to have a small business planning process other than because someone asked you for one

– keeps your sights on the horizon while your mind’s inside the business

– helps you communicate internally

– helps you to inspire and motivate internally

– forces you to think about all key issues in the business

– enables you to be proactive, not reactive

– enables you to make faster, better business decisions

If you are planning as a response to an outside request, then you’re planning for the wrong reasons.  It’s not for them, it’s for you.