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At Growth Decisions, we are always curious about why most business plans do not deliver. So a recent article on this very topic by Mr. John W. Mullins in the Wall Street Journal caught our attention. After more than 20 years of working with executives and entrepreneurs in the US, Asia, and Latin America, we have determined that there are several key “lessons learned” that can be distilled into 8 tips to help transform your business plan from a passive and formulistic document to a dynamic growth tool.
When Does A Business Plan Deliver?
First, let’s define a best-case scenario. A business plan delivers when it becomes a real tool for decision-making and risk management. Good business plans are based on facts and show that the team behind the project has completely and accurately answered key questions about a given business opportunity — not just in theory, but also in practice.
Even today, many business plans we uncover during our consulting efforts seem to have been created in the days of typewriters and overheads. They are static, rigid, and do not tap into the multiple resources of a modern world where information and technology are readily available (at relatively low costs) and where customer interaction and feedback is easier than ever to obtain.
This is almost inexcusable. Even if your business has been in operation for decades, a living business plan can help you reach your real growth potential.