What is the Most Important Part of My Business Plan?

Michael Gallagher, .

GPS system in a carThe Business Plan

So how does a static, written plan work when a business is always in motion? It works when you turn your plan into planning. A plan is like a parked car; planning is taking that car on a trip.” Forbes

We develop a business plan, based on the goals and objectives of the clients. By itself, it is quite useless. It is implementing that plan that matters. To that end, the structure of the business plan is important because it directly facilitates action that will deliver results.

The Plan

The plan is customized for each business and addresses its specific needs. Each plan is different, but there are typically four or five sections, outlining the business’s current status and issues it is confronting. A central component of the plan is the objectives the owners/executives have identified. In other words, this is a summary of where you are and where you want to be in the next few years.

Task Sheets

Arguably the most important part of the business plan is the end: the task sheets. This is what we are suggesting in terms of action. These are the issues and activities that you have to tackle in order to achieve objectives. If you want to be at point X in three years, these are the steps that will take you there.

The number of tasks depends on the company, but there is typically a minimum of four or five. Each task can have a handful of issues around it. If cash flow were an area of concern, for instance, there might be five or six subcategories with action required.

Looking at a big list of what you need to do is not only overwhelming, it can be demoralizing. This is why we break each step into manageable and achievable steps. They contain:

You know who is going to do what by when. This is like gassing up the car so you can start your trip. Having a clear layout or map, complete with rest stops, is the best way to think long-term and drive results for your business.

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Michael Gallagher

Mike Gallagher, President of Michael Gallagher Advisory, has spent the past 20 years helping small business owners and managers develop and implement strategic business plans, achieve sustainable, targeted growth and solve the problems that keep them up at night.