Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Unplan Your Business – Not!

Are business plans dead? Are events moving so fast that planning has become a bureaucratic luxury? I think not, and research indicates that business plans are as relevant today as they always have been.

An inadequate or non-existent business plan is still a cause of failure amongst small businesses. No business plan = insufficient thought and seat-of-the-pants management. All boats might float on a rising tide, but when things are less buoyant, too many sink never to be seen again. The list of why small businesses fail is long and depressing, but pretty much all of them include Poor Planning.

So why do people suggest such dangerous nonsense? Is it to be different? To shake things up a bit and get known as a popular thought leader? After all business planning isn’t exactly the most popular activity for managers.

Or is it because they genuinely have a crystal clear vision of their business that they don’t need a plan? And so think that other businesses shouldn’t have one either? I guess that’s the kindest explanation I can come up with, and I take my hat off to anyone who can hold the complexities of leading and managing a business without a business plan.

Like the billionaire day-traders (not too many of them around …) I’d love to meet those successful people who steer their thriving businesses without a so much as a back-of-an-envelope plan. How do they do it?

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