A Lean Business Plan can quickly put your business on a path towards improved and predictable short-term results. Business Planning may appear to be a daunting and painful process which can be challenging, uncomfortable and scary. However, the truth is that Business Planning can be psychologically, personally, and professionally rewarding. The good news for business owners not yet ready to make the commitment to a formal Business Plan is they can lay the foundation for that ultimate step with a Lean Business Plan.
Lean Business Planning is characterized by a very streamlined planning process providing a business owner with a defined strategy, necessary methods, assumptions/responsibilities/metrics, and a short-term financial forecast. These four pillars of a Lean Business Plan work to address a problem your business is looking to solve, your company’s solution, the markets you serve and your business’ identity. The Lean Business Plan is truly “lean” utilizing bullet points, lists, milestones, and short-term forecasting. It is used by ownership and their internal team and not is not for outside service providers. Its simplicity and clearly stated goals, assumptions and responsibilities lends itself to daily, weekly, and monthly tracking, review and if needed, adjustment.
A Lean Business Plan and its use as a short-term Roadmap will illustrate first-hand the importance of planning. It can begin to foster a team management culture which is more focused, communicative, and accountable. A Lean Business Plan, while not a long-term tool or Roadmap, can provide fundamental near-term planning experience with many key tracking and monitoring tools needed in a formal Business Plan. When you are ready for a formal Business Plan with additional planning components, descriptions and information for outside service providers, a Lean Business Plan will serve as a great foundation.