Business, Strategic, and Action Plans – and why your small business needs them allby Dan Roberts on 04/17/18
Dwight Eisenhower once said, “Good planning without good working is nothing.” We tend to agree. While there are some small businesses that have succeeded without a plan, this is generally speaking not the best way to plow forward. As a matter of fact, lack of a business plan is one of the reasons many small businesses fail. But what gives? Why should a small business owner care about writing a business plan? And if they have one, then who needs a strategic plan or an action plan? Good questions, all – let’s take a closer look.
A business plan is typically utilized for several reasons, chief of which is to determine the viability of a new business idea to launch and be sustainable. Once the idea is validated, it acts to secure funding in the way of a business loan or through investors. It definitely helps to provide structure to the idea, and allows small business owners to determine the best way to shape its operations.
A strategic plan is used by existing organizations to describe where the business is, and where it would like to be in the next 3-5 years. It outlines specific goals and what the benchmarks of success will be. It also describes how an action plan will be put into operation.
An action plan is a document that helps guide small business owners and their teams in the day-to-day tasks of the company. It specifically defines what needs to be done, when, by whom and what resources will be needed to succeed. When done correctly, the document will help define specific processes for individuals, teams and departments.
If we were to return to Eisenhower’s quote, it becomes clear that the business plan and strategic plan are elements that go hand-in-hand with an action plan. Once each is in place, the only thing left to do is work the plan.
And as the iconic phrase goes, there’s only one thing small business owners need at this point – just do it.