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The Adventure of Business Planning

Aug 17, 2007
Business planning is an adventure?
I doubt that many people would describe it that way.

Creating a business plan is not a favorite for many entrepreneurs. Business plans have gotten the reputation of being complicated, boring, and useless.
Part of the reason for this is probably because of the requirement to have a business plan when applying for a loan.

In that case, the plan is written more for the lending institution than it is for the business owner. Most likely, once the loan is approved, the business plan document is soon forgotten.

Working on a business plan seems to bring out procrastination and frustration. It is easy to put off a project that seems as though it will take a big chunk of time and energy. There may also be hesitation to get into planning due to possible differences in opinion in your company as to what the priorities should be.

So, how can we make this business planning into an adventure?

Who doesn't like the idea of planning an adventure trip?

I was thinking about the basics of a business plan and how those basic steps apply to planning such a journey. There really are a lot of parallels.

As I planned my solo trip to New Zealand to go backpacking with seven women, there were a lot of challenges for me and I felt I needed a plan.

Why create a plan? Clarifying your thinking is the most important reason for having a plan written down. Most everyone planning a trip talks about what they are going to do and how they feel about it. Taking it a step farther and writing it down solidifies it.

As I wrote down my structured plan, I could see clearly what was to be done and felt more confident about making the journey.

I used the five main parts of a business plan:

1. Vision
2. Mission
3. Objectives
4. Strategies
5. Plans

TRIP TO NEW ZEALAND

My Vision: Suzanne sees herself as a strong, independent woman traveling successfully on an international adventure.

My Mission: Suzanne is to go to New Zealand, connect with seven other women she has never met, hike the Banks Peninsula Track, and get back home safely.

Objectives:

1. Arrange air and ground travel.
2. Get prepared physically.
3. Be well equipped for the hike.

Strategies:

1. Find convenient and most economical travel.
2. Concentrate on good nutrition, exercise, and hiking with a pack.
3. Find good quality equipment that is comfortable

Plans:

Travel Arrangements

1. Check air rates online and with travel agent
2. Make decision and purchase tickets

Equipment:

1. Check equipment at REI and the outdoor store and online.
2. Make decision on price and comfort.

Conditioning:

1. Hike around the lake in hiking boots on flat ground with weighted backpack.
2. Hike mountain without backpack.
3. Hike mountain with weighted backpack.

Now, do those steps to a business plan seem so daunting when you think of them in terms of an adventure trip?

Most every business owner has a plan that is shared often in conversation. You'll hear them talk about their vision, objective, strategies and plans.

Getting that plan down in writing makes it easier for others to know and understand their vision and how they plan to get there.

If you're finding it difficult to get your plan together, find a planning partner. Get another business owner to commit to doing his or her plan at the same time. Call each other to keep yourselves on track. Another source of support would be a business coach who could strategize with you as you go through the steps of the plan.

Is business planning starting to sound more like an adventure to you?

Jump into the plan! It's amazing just how satisfying it is to have a plan in place and go with it.
About the Author
How about completing your goals with energy left over?
Exuberant Productivity Coach, Suzanne Holman, MAEd, works with female Certified Financial Planners who are interested in making every hour of work truly productive so they have abundant time and energy for fun and family. For a FREE Exuberance Assessment and tips for increasing your productivity and having a more satisfying life, visit Exuberant Productivity.com
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