How do I tell my fusty accountant that business plans are too restrictive in my fast-paced industry?
Thursday, June 28, 2012/
Dear Aunty B,
My accountant, bless his blue cotton socks, has asked very nicely to see my business plan.
I showed him my budget, which includes monthly P&L for the first time! But he says that is not a plan. But Aunty, everything in my industry changes every five minutes, so why would I have a plan that locks us into one course of action when we might need to do a head-swivelling 360 and head off in another?
Go and buy your accountant a new pair of cotton socks because who else would want you as a client!
Here is why you have a plan. It is a discipline to stop entrepreneurs like you losing focus, which is one of the greatest traps in a growing business. Do a plan. It doesn’t have to be long. In fact, like all great art: the simpler, the better.
Two pages max is all you need. This forces you to outline how you’re going to grow (where the revenue is coming from); where the profit comes from; and how you are building platforms for growth so you don’t unravel from growth pains, bottlenecks and bad customer service.
Then when you have a harebrained idea you need to return to the plan and revise it, which may well result in you dropping the new plan because you thought about it for two seconds longer than normal.
Always be aware that entrepreneurs’ minds play tricks. We get bored, we want the new, the shiny, the tomorrow thing – and that can cost you your business. So your plan is your insurance, if you like. And you know what? It is actually fun doing a plan because you sit back at the end of it and get excited all over again.
Your Aunty B
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