Business Planning for Those Who Hate Planning

For Business Owners Only

Hate business planning? Think it takes too much time, is inaccurate, and doesn’t add any value to your life? Join the rest of us… 🙂

The 10/10/10 business plan may be for you. Spend ten minutes a day for three days and you’ll create a wonderful plan. It may be all you need to guide you through the year. Or it may be a good start on something more comprehensive. Either way, time well spent.

We started yesterday by writing two sentences that describe your business’s aspirations. If you haven’t done that yet, do it now.

Today, let’s think about the situation OUTSIDE your company (this worksheet will be useful).

These are things beyond your control. Significant things. Things that could really affect your business in 2017 (or beyond), for better or worse.

What are the opportunities?

What is happening outside your company that, if properly managed, would be really good for it? Think about industry trends. New technologies. Exchange rates. Regulatory changes. A new set of potential customers. A competitor leaving your market.

What’s going on in the world beyond your doors that could really help you?

Now – and this is where you’ll need to write things down – what could/should/must you do to take advantage of these opportunities? Describe things at a high level. For example, perhaps you do commercial building maintenance and you hear about a new elevator refinishing technology. Can you get exclusive rights to it for your city? Write it down.

Get exclusive rights to the Acme elevator refinishing technology for Victoria.

By achieving this, how much will your business improve? Circle one: Lots  Little

How much money / effort will it take to achieve this? Circle one: Lots  Little

How much time will it take to achieve this? Circle one: Weeks  Months

How certain are you that this can be achieved? Circle one: Very  Unsure

Is this consistent with your corporate aspiration? Circle one: Yes  No

Who from your team would be responsible for this?

Use this worksheet and write down a few potential objectives. Ten is probably more than enough.

What are the threats?

What outside forces could negatively affect your business in 2017? Similar to the opportunities above, think about industry trends. New technologies. Exchange rates. Regulatory changes. One or more customers leaving you. A new competitor entering your market.

What could/should/must you do to defend yourself against these threats?

For example, imagine that a government regulation will eliminate 40% of your customers in 6 months.

Significantly increase sales and marketing efforts in non-government areas.

If you do NOT achieve this, how much could your business be HURT? Circle one: Lots  Little

How much money / effort will it take to achieve this? Circle one: Lots  Little

How much time will it take to achieve this? Circle one: Weeks  Months

How certain are you that this can be achieved? Circle one: Very  Unsure

Is this consistent with your corporate aspiration? Circle one: Yes  No

Who from your team would be responsible for this?

Use this worksheet and write down as many as ten potential objectives.

Great job! You’re two-thirds done. See you tomorrow for Step 3.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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