In my current role as a Duct Tape Marketing coach and in my former role as a CPA, I see business owners who struggle because they don't have a plan. I also see folks who create a plan because they "have to", but then they never use it - it goes on a shelf and collects dust. I've always maintained that the value from having a written plan comes from 1) going through the process and 2) using it on a regular basis to evaluate how your business is going and making adjustments as needed.
In The Plan-as-You-Go Business Plan, Tim Berry makes these points much more eloquently than I ever could. Tim argues that the planning process (along with regular reviews) is so important that business owners just need to get started somewhere, anywhere, and continue to build your plan as your needs change. This is 180 degrees different from the classical "big bang" approach to business planning where we work for months at a time developing a huge document before we ever get started working on the business.
The author has organized the book to support his "plan as you go" approach. It is designed so you can jump around and use the section of the book that you need at any given time. The first section of the book "Attitude Adjustment" contains the background information you need to know and learn to adjust to this idea of business planning as a process in your business rather than an event or milestone to be forgotten once completed.
In "The Heart of the Plan", you work on your business identity, target market, your offering(s) and your strategic focus. When I post on my blog about having a marketing plan, this is the stuff I'm talking about.
"Flesh and Bones" is the section that talks about creating action plans, budgets, milestones, and metrics.Read more ›