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Tell Me About Your Business Plan?

Alicia Fruin
Oct 9, 2007
If you learned how to write a business plan at all, you probably learned how to write a MBA quality 30-page plan designed to attract investors or get a bank loan. In addition, if you are like most of us, after your initial start up you never looked at your plan again.

Often with a prospective client, just asking the simple question "tell me about your business plan" can lead to all the information I need to coach this business owner to next year. I learn about the vision for the business, the issues, the focus, the employees or lack of and I learn about the customer who buys their product or service.

Entrepreneurs are typically great talkers so I wait until after their first breath and say something like "is all this in writing" or "what do your employees think about the plan"? Really, it is not meant to be an earth shattering provocative question. Somehow it usually is.

On a side note, I love entrepreneurs. It could be that I love them because they are often a lot like me. They have great ideas, a positive attitude and have way too much to do! It could be I enjoy them because their business issues are a lot like my own. It could just be that I tend to favor the underdog and want to see the mom and pop organization take market share and win against all odds. Okay, it is probably all three.

So when I ask about their business plan, it's because I have learned that most of my clients don't have one and that when they take the time to think through their focus and strategy, preferably with their team, everything comes together.

When the time is right, I ask my clients "What would it be like if you could reference a plan when making choices?" Can you imagine being able to share the whole plan with your employees, affiliates and your coach"? Sometimes I ask, "Can you imagine the freedom you will have when it is out of your head and on paper?" or "What if everyone understood the business strategy, as well as the business strengths and weaknesses?" These questions along with my simple business plan format usually do the trick and they go to work on a plan.

They often report many insights into future mistakes that would have happened had they not written the plan and that having a simple plan in writing has allowed the whole team to collaborate, align and support the business vision.

For a simple business plan format go to www.peoplebizinc.com/successtools
About the Author
Alicia Marie Fruin applies almost two decades of business ownership experience, as well as a wealth of sales and marketing knowledge, to help her clients tackle the business challenges they face.

www.peoplebizinc.com
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