Thursday, February 19, 2009

We Have a Business Plan, Now What?

You have gone through the painstaking effort of creating a formidable business plan for your enterprise. Now, what do you do with it? The answer – use it at least monthly to run your business!

After investing thought and time into the business plan, the biggest question mark that still remains centers around the assumptions we have made concerning sales, margins, and cash flow. It is imperative to validate or invalidate our assumptions with our actual performance.

If we assumed our sales would grow by 5% each month, are we actually hitting that number? Are we higher or lower than it? Why? Is our sales cycle taking longer or shorter to complete? Are we hitting our conversion assumptions? The result of actually tracking our sales performance relative to our assumptions will generate two results: first, we will be able to hold our organizations accountable, and, second, we will more clearly understand our sales process and empower ourselves to make better assumptions in the future.

There are many valuable results that we will realize if we use our business plan at least once per month to help us run and grow our business.