Business Planning and chaos

Can you really plan in today’s turbulent and unpredictable business environment? In the book, Chaos Theory and Business Planning by Schwartz & Wilkinson, an old classic,┬áthe business planning process is described as “Proceeding from unreliable date through a process of illogical reasoning employing untenable assumptions to arrive at ridiculous conclusions.”

When you do a business plan, you have to allow for Factor X, the problem being, you never know what Factor X is until it hits. And while we are becoming more global by the day, a dramatic Factor X on the other side of the world, can have a devastating impact on your business. So, how to prepare?

Try to allocate funds for long-term plans and for an emergency situation. By putting on-going small amounts into an account, you give yourself a buffer and the security of knowing that you are secure if chaos hits. Ensure that you book regular back-ups for all your systems. If they are booked into your dairy, you are more likely to do them. Good intentions have got many businesses into strife. These are all taken for granted in bigger businesses but often over-looked in the busy focus on survival for small businesses. And yet a small amount of planning, can save a lot of grief and even the business itself.

Am I a great believer that business plans are vital for the success of the business? Most are not working documents, and research shows that most small businesses are too busy doing the doing, to do the planning. I believe the document itself is not the reason for a business plan. As the famous saying goes, the plan itself was not that useful, but the planning process was invaluable.