I just finished a meeting with one of my favorite small business clients and came to some realizations about business planning. In our case we are working on developing and implementing new business and revenue strategies in an already successful business. Through our discussions we have looked at the current operations to establish a baseline then have worked to develop new strategies from there. We are being careful to maintain the integrity of the mission that the business owner developed while looking for how to add some new things to help grow the business. The more we meet to do this the more questions that we raise which leads to more and better planning.
I think to often businesses get hung up on formalized processes and never really get to planning. They are convinced that planning needs to lead to a 40 page, double spaced, 12 point font, bank looking business plan (maybe even with a leather cover). It doesn't.
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