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Business Plan Should Show Action Beyond The Plan

Mar 16, 2008
Putting together a business plan can be a time-consuming effort in futility if you forget the main ingredient of the plan. Before any plan can be effective, it has to have the means of providing the execution to make the plan work. With prescribed actions to execute the steps in the business plan, all it will be is a list of hopes and dreams.

For example, a business plan may stipulate the company will sell a thousand widgets every day in order to bring in enough money to meet payroll and other expenses. It may even go so far as to project who will sell them but if the plan does not stipulate how they will be sold and, more importantly to whom, the plan is nothing more than a dream. Execution is the principal means behind any valued plan, detailing who will do what, when and how to allow the plan to be scripted completely.

On the other hand, any business can be planned to death. Meaning entirely too much time is spent on putting a plan on paper and never putting it into action. Even a great business plan is useless unless a timeline is attached to every step of the plan to put it into motion and follow through on making it work.

Another example is in assigning tasks to a group under the supervision of one person. By sitting down with that person and discussing the project, it can be agreed as to what tools will be needed to get the job done, how many people will be required to complete it in a specified time frame and at what cost. By enlisted the help of the individual in charge in putting the plan together, that person has a vested interest in making sure it is done on time and within budget.

Once the plan is on paper and put into action, there has to be a certain amount of follow-up to insure the project is going as planned and if any adjustments are needed they can be made before it is too late. After the first few days, the supervisor can be asked about the project and if everything looks good and they claim everything is going according to plan and is on schedule, it probably is. If they hedge about being ale to get done on time and admit there have been underestimates made about how long it will take, they can have input on what else is needed to remain on schedule.

If the supervisor continues to express optimism of being able to get done on time and the owner sees that it is becoming more obvious it is not going to happen, they may need to reassess their choice of the person in charge and hold them accountable for not being on schedule. With their buy-in from the beginning as part of the planning stage and their help in determining what is needed, they cannot pass fault back to the business owner for not giving them what they need to get the job done. It would be their failure to execute the plan to make it work and should be held responsible.
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