I work with clients to develop a business plan that details sales goals, costs, and financing needs. These services help clients examine their core assumptions about the business and compare projected results with actual results. I then suggest ways to improve operations. These insights and recommendations are extremely helpful to business owners who are dealing with significant resource constraints.
Comprehensive Business Plans
I develop business plans both for startups and companies that have been operating for years, including railways. I also provide assistance with accounting systems if we feel that an organization’s data isn’t accurate due to problems with accounting practices. While these reports are for internal use only and not to be used as audits or official reviews, they do provide actionable information.
Identifying Inaccurate Assumptions
One of the many benefits of developing a business plan is that it forces business owners to test their assumptions about their operations. The process often reveals inaccurate assumptions and shows a lack of attention to critical details.
Business plans force the entrepreneur to focus on critical issues, such as the addressable market, revenue model, and cost structure. It’s been said that the best project is one that is never done, and that applies to improving business operations. Developing a business plan often makes it clear to owners where high risk lies. If they can’t satisfactorily address these issues, it may mean that the business isn’t sustainable. This allows them to “fail fast” before too many resources are expended. Passionate business owners will often have what David Sandler called “happy ears.” They are far too optimistic. Creating a business plan helps an organization document more realistic expectations.
I’ve been a business coach at the New Enterprise Forum for more than 10 years. My experience there has confirmed my belief that the discipline required for developing a good business plan is invaluable at both the startup and operational stages of a business.