Why Not Having a Business Plan is Like Driving in Circles

I find it amazing that many small businesses do not or have ever had a business plan; to me this is like getting in your car but not knowing how to get where you’re going and just driving in circles.  In order to successfully grow your business, you should have a business plan; quite honestly a business should not open its doors until it has one.  Many small businesses mistakenly think that a business plan has to be elaborate with lots of charts and spreadsheets, and this is not necessarily the case.   A business plan can be a simple two or three page document that simply out lines where you are, where you are going, and how you are going to get there.  Now most businesses do know where they want to go, they just don’t have a plan on how to get there. Think of your company as a car, and think of your business plan as your GPS.  If you take the GPS out of the car, you may have an address, but no idea how to get to it. Continue reading

Business Impossible! Why small businesses fail and what to do about it.

I was in my home town just outside of Philadelphia last week on my way back from a business trip in India and I was hanging out at my cousin’s house one night watching a Flyers hockey game and after the game the subject of different T.V. shows came up;   Tony and I watch a lot of the same programs so it is a topic that we discuss often.  He told me about this show he started watching called Restaurant Impossible which is a show about a Master Chef who goes around the country to failing restaurants and completely redoes the restaurant, everything from the items on the menu to the interior design and sometimes even the chef.  It sounded interesting and he happened to have a couple of episodes recorded on his DVR so we watched one and I liked it, the next day I watched another and since then I have watched a few more.

 

Here’s the thing; after watching these shows it became clear to me that what I have been saying for years is a fact, just because you own a business doesn’t mean you know what you are doing.  The restaurant owners in this show from what I have seen so far had no idea how to run a business, and I find this to be true across the board in small businesses.  Sometimes people get lucky and somehow are able to survive for years, but all in all many small business owners have no clue about what they are doing. Continue reading