Wouldn’t it be easier for me to just take the plunge and start or
expand my business without going through the strategic business planning
Not unless you’re
the kind of person who would start on a cross-country trip without a road
map. That’s what a business plan is all about – a road map
specifying where you want to go and laying out how you intend to get there.
Even if you would take such a risk of proceeding without one, chances
are you’re going to need funding and no investor is likely to put
up any money without a solid business plan.
How important is it
that I complete each Strategic Business Planning Guide in the order suggested,
i.e., Situational SWOT Analysis, Business Plan, Executive Summary, and
then PowerPoint™ Slide Presentation?
Each Guide provides the critical information needed to
complete the next step. The Executive Summary, for example, depends entirely
on the content of the Business Plan, which in turn is based largely on
the results of the SWOT analysis. The PowerPoint™ Slide Presentation
is the piece de resistance that brings the entire work to life visually.
Once the business has gotten through the funding and
successful startup phases and is making money, can I forget about the
Absolutely not. Your Business
Plan should continue to be your guide, for organization growth and stability
in day-to-day operations and indication of future potential. You should
update your Business Plan at least once a year, or more frequently if
rapid changes are taking place in your industry or organization. About
every two to three years, you should conduct a Situational SWOT Analysis
with your key constituencies and incorporate the results in your revised
Business Plan, to be sure that you are effectively managing change and
making the best use of all of the resources at your disposal.
What are the top 10
most important things investors look for when evaluating a business plan
to decide whether to provide funding for the business?
A discussion about how to incorporate these and other important
elements into your business plan can be found in an article written by
Mike Martinez, CEO of Strategic Management Services, Inc., which was published
in the Dallas Business Journal 23, 2002. For a FREE copy of this article please send your request
and we will be happy to send it to you by e-mail.