Smart entrepreneurs and established businesses typically use a great business plan as a well-proven tool aimed at accomplishing 1-3 key objectives:

  1. acquire funding from investors, loans from bankers or the SBA, etc,
  2. as a well proven way to jack up the multiple if you want to sell the business in the medium term, and/or
  3. as a team-unifying playbook to maximize the productivity and creativity of their employees.
A business plan is the map to be used by all of your people toward realizing your success objectives

Prospective investors need to be shown a dazzling plan that will stand out from the crowd of other "this will be the next Google" business plans that are being pitched to them every day. Your/Our task is to craft an impressive plan that does not look like it was created with cheap business planning software templates (most investors jettison those in their first screening pass).

Building Confidence For Business Funding Sources

You might think about this kind of plan like an elaborate marketing piece as its fundamental job is to give prospective investors or bankers confidence they can get a pretty meaty return on their investment... quickly... and with minimal risk. Investors want to be confident about their investments (just as you do when you put your hard-earned money into any investment). You grow that confidence by showing that:

  • you're well invested in your business (it's more than just an idea),
  • you've engaged quality talent like the Big Innovations (BI) team to help develop key portions of it,
  • you've already assembled a team of talented professionals ready to make it happen (this can also be BI for the growth-oriented thrusts within the business), and
  • you've not scrimped on a document that is basically asking strangers to give you huge sums of cash for only the potential of some future reward.

A plan developed on the cheap- like any marketing developed on the cheap- tends to fail at moving its audience to take the desired action. That's not saying you should overspend on a plan, but thinking a total investment of $49-$500 in some business plan software will yield hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in financial backing is mostly fantasy. If entrepreneurs could get massive backing (and thus set themselves up with all of the CEO perks therein) by spending only a small amount of money on some software, the world would be drowning in business plans... and everyone would be a well-paid CEO (until the investor cash runs out).

If you've assembled a good team to be the make-it-happen resources when funded, you can leverage their backgrounds & experience in selling the investors, bankers or buyers on wanting to get involved with your company. This is much more enticing than asking them to give you the money first and then you'll put together the team later. In the former, you are (also) selling a group of talented professionals (all of their accomplishments, experience, knowledge, etc.) while in the latter you are selling only yourself.

Especially in today's ultra-competitive funding environment, you must be heavily invested in your business to win maximum consideration from funding sources. Again, put yourself in the investor's or banker's shoes. Would you give big money to some stranger who has put next to nothing into their business plan and business? Or would you (too) want to see that they've invested a good amount of their own money illustrating that the entrepreneur believes in their concept beyond $49, or $500, or even many thousands. If the entrepreneur has a large amount of their own money at stake, the shrewd investor sees an entrepreneur who really needs to see that business described in their plan become a successful company. If the entrepreneur has little-to-nothing at stake it's a lot easier for them to pull the plug once the investor backing runs out. If you were the investor, banker or buyer, which entrepreneur would you want to back with your own money?

A Business Plan Maximizes Productivity & ROI of Your Human Resources

A company that wants to empower its people but also needs to maintain a sense of control will create a plan that does both. That plan can establish the boundaries in line with the owner's vision of the company while granting creative detail flexibility so that all levels of employees can significantly contribute in very rewarding win:win ways. A good plan is THE BEST WAY to maximize the ROI potential of your own human resources... to fully unlock everything your people can give you.

Make the most of your Human Resources by using a business plan to drive growth

The fastest growing companies are not fueled by one (or a few) central brain(s) telling everyone else what to do next. Instead, those at the top lay out a specific target and some broad guidelines on how to get from here to there. If here is "A" and there is "Z," the senior managers are (correctly) working at a strategic level. They shrewdly leave much of the nitty gritty of steps "B to Y" to the rest of the team. Tapping into the creative brains of the many tends to make "B to Y" go much better than having a few brains at the top trying to micro-manage that nitty gritty. The latter inevitably leads to anti-productive bottlenecks which waste both money & time. And because those at the top can't be nitty gritty experts of every function in a company, their "solutions" will often be less than ideal... but implemented anyway because "they're the boss." Too many of those becomes band-aid solutions on band-aids... a recipe for underachievement or even eventual failure.

  • President Kennedy laid out (what many saw as) an impossible vision of putting a man on the moon in less than 10 years. He didn't follow that up by plugging himself deeply into NASA to work on every nitty gritty innovation to try to pull it off. Instead, he left that to the talented team of creative people most expert at their individual parts. Thus, the accomplishment did not depend on the President(s) becoming a master of rocketry, space suits, computer systems, all matters related to life support & human safety, logistics, mathematics, propulsion, etc. This empowerment of the team was key to getting that (very big) job done. Had the President(s) forced himself into every "B to Y" function of that goal, the U.S. might still be working on getting to the moon.
  • A general may know more about how to do every bit of the desired functions of their lowest-ranked troops at a battle's front lines. For example, he or she may be better at handling a gun, aiming and firing. He or she may be the superior marksman, extraordinarily skilled in every aspect of what their troops are expected to do. However, if he or she must involve themselves in steps "B to Y" during the course of battle- for example, if he or she must personally load each gun, aim them, pull each trigger, etc- no battle can be won. If the goal is to take that next fortification but the general wants to involve him or herself in every function, their forced bottleneck(s) will suppress the advance. If the other side understands that in empowering their troops- even if those troops can't quite load, aim & fire as good as their generals- they'll advance en masse, overcoming the bottlenecked side.

If your business competitors are better at leveraging their troop's collective expertise & throughput, you're increasingly at risk of losing your company's battles. If you've hired & cultivated good people, make the most of what they can offer (by allowing & encouraging them to contribute their specific expertise & creativity). Use a quality plan to lay out your own moonshot vision and some of the higher-level guidance of how and when you'd like to get there. Then, empower the team to work out the nitty gritty details of how best to make it happen. Everyone will be focused, do their part to the max and you can accomplish bigger objectives and ultimately realize those impossible (possible) dreams. That's how to be great as a company... and as a company leader.

Step-by-Step: Creating the Ideal Business Plan For Your Company

The BI business plan creation approach is grounded in the foundation of our collective brilliance model. The most effective plans always start at thoroughly understanding customer needs and the competitive landscape. By using cutting-edge research to get closer to your buyers you are much more likely to deliver the products & services they will want to buy. By using shrewd competitor analysis solutions you can effectively tap into the brilliance of your competitors and incorporate their innovations into your own offerings. Blended together, this research offers a solid foundation on which to craft a potent business plan.

Based upon many years of developing plans with many companies the optimal plan will include approximately 11 sections. These are briefly conveyed in the following presentation. Left & right navigation arrows will appear when you hover over the image. Click the right arrow to step forward through the presentation...

Our Innovative Strategic Business Planning Process 01 Our Innovative Strategic Business Planning Process 02 Our Innovative Strategic Business Planning Process 03 Our Innovative Strategic Business Planning Process 04 Our Innovative Strategic Business Planning Process 05 Our Innovative Strategic Business Planning Process 06 Our Innovative Strategic Business Planning Process 07 Our Innovative Strategic Business Planning Process 08 Our Innovative Strategic Business Planning Process 09 Our Innovative Strategic Business Planning Process 10 Our Innovative Strategic Business Planning Process 11 Our Innovative Strategic Business Planning Process 12 Our Innovative Strategic Business Planning Process 13 Our Innovative Strategic Business Planning Process 14 Our Innovative Strategic Business Planning Process 15 Our Innovative Strategic Business Planning Process 16 Our Innovative Strategic Business Planning Process 17 Our Innovative Strategic Business Planning Process 18 Our Innovative Strategic Business Planning Process 19

As expressed in the presentation, we believe that tapping into external resources like BI also plays an important role in producing an optimal plan. Outside talent is not biased, nor locked into the company way of thinking about your markets, products, competitors, the landscape, etc. Good consultants can bring pure objectivity that is otherwise impossible to find with only internal resources. BI professionals have deep experience in how to execute the planning process so that you end up with a very smart plan. BI plans have helped our clients & former employers rapidly set all-time revenue & profit records.

A Quality Plan Goes Far Beyond Just Describing How Your Business Will Prosper

For tactical business growth elements of the plan (sales, marketing and development (Internet, product, business)), BI can help you tap into our deep and diverse subcontractor specialist network yielding better quality and/or money-saving solutions that might otherwise be unknown to your team. This is the stuff referenced in the plan that is actually used in execution of it: Internet and/or print marketing promotions, a killer website, advertising creative, sales & support, virtual salespeople, telesales solutions, multimedia, your own mobile app, direct response and so on. In short, as soon as the plan is approved, funded and ready to execute, these tactical elements are put into play to fire up the revenue and business-building results... deliverables that go beyond only describing how you intend to grow the business. The tactical tangibles are the impressive elements that actually go out and motivate prospects to buy. And BI can also be the horses who do up to all of that work (too), which can prove especially useful when you and/or your managers are already (over)loaded with many operational responsibilities on your plates.

An empowering plan yields enthusiastic, make-it-happen employees

If you are seeking some help creating a smart, winning business plan, a visually-stunning Power Point for the "road show," an online, narrated presentation (in any language) for virtual road shows, an elevator video, investor deck, CD-ROM, DVD, BD (HD video), help sourcing quality investors and/or pitching your plan to them, any of the tactical elements used to drive growth, etc, take advantage of our FREE consultation. We offer our most experienced, applicable talent to work with you toward creating a plan and related deliverables that intelligently balances your profit and growth objectives with the collective capabilities of your team and their resources. Our well-designed, thoroughly-proven model will help you get it right the first time. Your people will love you for finally unchaining their potential.

Yogi Berra said: "If you don't know where you are going, you might end up someplace else." If you are running a business without a plan you are flying by the seat of your pants; even if that approach has seemed to work to date, it is tremendously limiting to the ultimate potential of your company (hard) capped by just how much your central dispatcher can personally manage at any given time. If you have a plan but aren't following it you don't really have a good plan. If you are wanting to start a business from scratch, nearly every resource that you might consult will advise you to put together an intelligent, written business plan right up front. If you are looking to sell a company in the next few years, a proven planning culture will maximize what you get for your stake in that company. Whatever your situation, the Big Innovations team would love to help you create a plan that clearly navigates your road to lucrative success. Contact us for a FREE Consultation.

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