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Making the Business Plan your Boss

Article provided by Mr.Kiran Ajwani


 

Like all of life, entrepreneurship shows up as a two sided coin. Owning your own business has great advantages – the first generation entrepreneur can set his own pace, express himself completely through his business and experience the satisfaction of creating a business from scratch. However, the other side of the coin also comes along – mostly, the entrepreneur is alone in decision making, does’nt have any sounding boards to bounce off ideas on, gets limited by his own motivation & drive and has no one to challenge his comfort zones.

In any result oriented corporate, one of the main reasons results & growth are continuously achieved is because there is a culture of “focussing on results and not on problems”. There are always many reasons which can be found to explain why a result could not be achieved, but a successful organization manages to ingrain in its culture result & solution orientation

The advantage that exists then in a large organization is that every employee (including the CEO) has to report to someone else who is equally or more result and solution oriented.

However, with small & medium size companies, this advantage is many times missing and the entrepreneur/owner at times gets locked into explaining to himself “why a result can’t be achieved” rather than how it can be. The absence of a boss becomes a big disadvantage at such times for such an entrepreneur who gives himself “valid” reasons on why growth or a certain result can’t be achieved.

One way an entrepreneur can prevent himself and his business from falling into this trap is to make a good, well thought out business plan for a 3-5 year period and then to make the business plan his “boss”. This means that the entrepreneur should hold himself accountable & answerable for achieving the plan and measuring performance vis-à-vis the plan.

A good business plan is one which :

  • Sets goals that are well balanced between reality & aspiration and sets a challenge which the    entrepreneur is happy to pitch against.
  • Contains all the three - the big picture (vision, mission, where do we want to go ?), the strategy (how we are going to get there?) and all the plans (sales & marketing plan, resource plan etc)
  • Is detailed out numerically month-by-month for a 3 year period
  • Is well integrated i.e. Appropriate resources and capacity additions are estimated in line with the sales plan
  • Forwards the business and inspires the entrepreneur to go all out in achieving the plan.

If such a business plan is made for the enterprise and then made into a “boss” by the entrepreneur, it is very unlikely that the business will get locked into problems. After each month end, the entrepreneur should report to the “boss” by :

  1. Placing actual figures of performance v/s plan
  2. Making an objective unbiased assessment of what went right and what went wrong
  3. In case of performance gaps, stating action steps being taken to cover up the gap in the coming months.

If this culture of planning and monitoring against plan is successfully inculcated by an SME, it automatically inculcates a culture of result & solution orientation which is a key ingredient for success in business, as in life.

 

About Kiran Ajwani

Kiran Ajwani is the Managing Director of Free Choice Enterprises Pvt. Limited (www.fce.co.in) which offers business coaching & counseling services to small & medium size business enterprises. His academic qualifications include a B.E.(Electronics) and a M.M.S (Marketing) both from Mumbai University. He has over 10 years of Corporate Business experience with top MNC’s such as Philips and Johnson & Johnson. His last corporate assignment was as Country Leader – India & Korea for J&J’s Diagnostics business. He is also a visiting faculty at the Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies for the Family Business MBA programme. He can be reached at kiran@fce.co.in 

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