Is it the “End of Elaborate (Business) Planning”?

So often in business too much time is taken, putting together elaborate business plans and strategic reviews with little or no output at the end. The plan is pulled together and delivered with great fanfare, then shelved for 12 months or more.

In my view, business planning is absolutely vital if your small business is going to keep growing. Planning helps you work around the peaks and troughs ahead, and it helps you have strategies in place, in order to cope with the inevitable challenges that they create.

I’m a real supporter and developer of simple and effective tools that help you as owner or director of a business, to keep focused on key objectives. I use tools acquired on the Growth Accelerator Programme, which sadly came to an end in November 2015. However, 3 years on from our experience, we use the “orbital” and the “vital fews” – It’s all about setting goals you can deliver on.

Don’t just take my word for it. Ben Hunt Davis, Olympic Gold Medalist Rower is an advocate for setting ambitious goals and then be willing to challenge every aspect of what you do, in order to achieve those goals. Check his book Will It Make The Boat Go Faster. Supper Club’s Duncan Cheatle is also an advocate, “Clarify your vision and values in a 1 page business plan and then nail it to a wall, literally”.

So, while Growth Accelerator may not be around now to help your start-up, small or medium sized owner managed business keep on track, you don’t have to go back to the default of making overly complex plans.

As we look to 2016 I urge you to seek out those tools and methodologies which are super simple and follow the GA model with a 1 page set of goals and tactics. That way next year you can have real clarity of thought. And in the words of the doors song “the End” make 2015 the “the end of our elaborate plans”. Keep ‘16 simple -or Ki6s for short.

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