The Strategic Planning Workbook for Small Businesses and Sole Proprietors
Are you sick of reading boring, lengthy, jumbled business planning books that do little to actually help owners succeed in business? So am I! Which is the reason I wrote this book!Time and again, I’ve sat down with a business owner as the newly hired consultant to talk about how to implement the latest greatest idea, only to find that the company is teetering on the brink of extinction with no concept of how they do business, let alone a way to make their new idea work. Did I mention they’re often struggling financially, too? This comes from a lack of structured planning. I could throw in all the clichés (like if you fail to plan you plan to fail), but it’s not surprising that most small businesses don’t really have a plan. Planning is challenging and time consuming, and much of the information out there is convoluted and daunting. Sole proprietors and small business owners are often driven by passion rather than simply an interest in business. They start a business they care for and learn hard business lessons as they go, all while wearing most of the hats in the process. They don’t have time for another involved project, and they don’t have a lot of room for failure. So, when they hear they need a plan, they may get a book and try to write one. Or several. Only to get lost in the details and stuck on the semantics and then to discard the thing in a drawer because it does not make sense to the business. I totally get it. I’ve written a workbook modeled on the successful methods I’ve used with clients to “turn the ship around” and get them on a path they can be not just functional, but happy with. It’s made to take the mystery, and the fear frustration and confusion, out of planning for a business, and instead bring it to a level of accessible. It’s structured as an activity book designed to take a business owner through a series of steps to make their own strategic plan. Each chapter represents a step, with a corresponding example and activity for the owner to complete. It’s simplified, as it should be, so that it can be completed quickly and set into motion. A motivated owner should be able to finish this in a month if serious, and in a weekend if truly diligent and bent on getting it done. Easy is one of the most misused words in the English language so I will not call it easy. But I will say this is concise, and cuts through much of what you don’t need in a plan to help you focus on what you do.