Business Plan

The first shot . . .

Dave Kinnear1-On Leadership

The best thought out, highly strategic and fully communicated battle plan will undoubtedly be re-drawn once the first shot is fired. It’s just the way things work. Rarely (if ever) do we execute a business plan without making significant adjustments from the original.

What I’m observing now is that many business leaders have concluded that they need to “throw out all plans and wing-it.” Could be a serious mistake.

Trying out new products, product improvements, marketing plan, PR initiatives, services and customer focused study groups is critical to determining where the “customer’s head is.” Those activities must be part of the plan for moving your company forward, not a replacement for the plan. Reverting to running your company “by the seat of the pants” is not going to move you toward long term goals and sustainability.

The last year or more has been a great time to sharpen our focus on the things that really matter with respect to company strategy, commitments to markets and product innovation. Business as usual has definitely not worked for the majority of companies with whom I work. The private companies which are more “relationship companies” as opposed to “MBA companies,” have had to move more toward the “by the numbers MBA” style and less toward sacrificing profits to maintain the family atmosphere (protecting relationships with employees).

Are you sticking with your previous business model? Are you trying new products and services consistent with a plan and your core competencies? Have you put together a new marketing and/or branding plan? Is it in place? Now is a great time to grow market share as many competitors have closed down or have greatly reduced their share of the market.