December Promises + New Years Resolutions
You knew December was coming and things were going to slow down. You probably told yourself that this year you were going to use the time to strategize for 2015…just like you probably told yourself last year. I know I did.
Then New Years came and went. All that’s left now is an extended waistline paired with new resolutions that you are already starting to question. Staring 2015 in the face there isn’t much time for in depth strategic planning, but I think that’s okay.
In the past few months I’ve started to realize how little I value 5 year plans. In college, I learned to despise business plans. Four years at university were spent creating and analyzing over 30 business and/or marketing plans. After I graduated, I saw efforts of other agencies who would do week long strategy sessions to create a business plan. They would charge tens of thousands of dollars and in the end provide a document that suggested they do the same marketing tactics that they agency had planned on selling even prior to the first meeting. Ultimately creating a means to justify the ends.
My real concern lies within the knowledge that marketers and business consultants aren’t fortune tellers. Attempting a five year plan in today’s business environment which moves at the speed of light is nothing short of laughable. Technology changes too fast. Trends change too fast. Sure you could guess…but what a substantial waste of time.
Survival in today’s business world relies upon agility. You and your business need to be flexible to scale to the occasion. You need to be able to dance around the ring like a boxer, dodging fatal blows and seeking opportunities to strike. Setting a long term plan when you just need to win the round is about as useful as a trap door on a lifeboat.
Not 5 years. What does it take to get through the next one?
Business Plans That Actually Work
We believe that the fundamental purpose of a business plan is to create alignment. Having specific twelve to eighteen month goals and then a vision for the future. We also believe that this doesn’t require weeks of meetings to achieve. We’ve created a document that for most businesses can be completed in one hour. For new businesses or those in rapid growth this might take a little longer; however, for either this will be well worth the effort to make sure that there is top level alignment.
In our senior leadership team meeting tomorrow Philip, Kenny, and I will be going through this same process, so if you need help or would like us to come in and lead a group please reach out so we can schedule a time.