This is the first in an ongoing series of audio podcasts with Burke Franklin, founder and CEO of Jian Software, the publisher of business planning software, Biz Plan Builder, as well as many other business productivity software titles. In each audio podcast, Burke tackles topics related to planning, starting, financing, and growing an entrepreneurial venture or small business. A seasoned entrepreneur and best selling author, Burke shares his candid insights and opinions on a wide range of topics – business and otherwise – that we hope will have an impact on the success of your company.
In today’s audio recording, Burke shares his thoughts on “The 3 Most Important Things You Learn from the Business Planning Process”. There is quite a bit of discussion about the importance of a business plan when raising capital. However, there is much less talk about what an entrepreneur or small business owner can learn about themselves and their business during the planning process.
Burke identified three (of many) of the primary benefits of the planning process, including:
- Forces business owners to take a closer look at how much capital they really need both in the short-term, as well as over a longer time horizon. It is not uncommon for entrepreneurs to spend what money they have available today, without carefully budgeting their cash requirements for the upcoming 3, 6 and 12 month period. Before they notice, they have run out of capital and are now stuck.
- Enables business owners to gain the feedback and buy-in from stakeholders such as employees, board members, consultants, vendors, and others. While the business owner is the final decision maker, getting a wide variety of ideas and input can strengthen a company’s business plan and ensure that everyone is rowing the boat in the same direction.
- Allows a business owner to more closely analyze or re-analyze their industry, market, competition, and customers, in order to make course corrections. The market in which a business operates can change fast, and if you don’t take a step back occasionally to gauge where you stand on both a micro and macro level you may find your competitors have passed you and your customers have turned their back on you.
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What do you consider to be the primary benefit of the business planning process? Please leave a comment below. We love to hear from our readers.
Is there a topic you would like to hear Burke talk on in an upcoming podcast? If so, please email us through out site.