Monday, January 12, 2009

The Business plan jitters

Yes it’s that time again: the big BP is looming. True it was already looming last year and I had done one version and started a second. The first one I understood but found lacking and the second attempt was way too long and felt like a visit to the dentist where the root canal was thoroughly being carried out. Time for version number 3 and the last one. I hate doing these things but that’s procrastination talking.

Why do I write one? Because I want to clarify the direction my business is taking. In short: a road map showing how goals and objectives can be achieved. You can’t get anywhere without knowing how to get there unless you’re keen to get lost and enjoy the experience.

First up: I have to do a SWOT. Looking at the word gives you the idea of either squatting behind a flax bush on the beach or giving the boot camp commander 20. Neither is applicable but I agree with the sentiment. A SWOT means doing a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats analysis. (Beats sitting behind that flax bush any day cooking in the hot Dunedin sun not wearing any slip slap slop.) I type, I sigh, I think so hard that it makes my blond curls nearly straighten out with the forcefulness of it.

Then onto the next phase: The Now, The Strategy and ‘le grand vision’ followed by the Tactical Rapport (very Star Trek) topping it off with the Timelines (told you, it’s like being back in an episode with Seven of Nine). Do a profit and Loss forecast and where the Cash Flow is going to hang out and off you go. Well not quite but breaking it down into chunks sure helps my heartbeat return to a more normal thumpety thump. I have a great mind for expressing ideas, creative stuff and designing which is joined at the hip with socializing and whipping up pastas, but these number crunchers positively give me the willies! Give me an overly fussy client any day of the week instead of this. (I’m so grateful for Debbie the accountant we have here at work, she is a marvelous efficient woman.) And to think that I did a post graduate year of communication and PR where there was equal amounts of theory babble. How on earth did I tackle that?

The good news is that once I have survived all this I know at least what I’m looking at. It’s by no means a guarantee for success but the blond beware attitude is better then happily winging it a la Barbie. (And she was signed up with Mattel so turns out she wasn’t that stupid either even though she was made of plastic.) Bottom-line: whether you are Entrepreneur or Employee, and I’m both, it pays to prepare. So I type, sigh and persevere. Not with a vengeance but with an honest attempt to smile.

1 comment:

  1. yes, with a smile ! more specially: to yourself ... you're paving your path with structures and ideas that are your very own.

    One of my businesspartners writes his BP regularly. He says: "listen, just do like mr Einstein. He was a clever guy. Whenever he wrote down his splendid ideas, he looked at them, and teared the paper up. Then he thought again, en wrote that BP again...other words, other approaches, etc. Then: again, write anew...."
    the results will amaze you !

    Kees Waaier