What is Your BP Personality?
When we think of a business plan, we often think of a thick stack of papers, densely populated with text and tables, charts and graphs, with perhaps the occasional relief from an image or index. But gone are the days when you have only a single option for a business plan format. Now, plans can take on many forms and function best when matched to the personality of your team and the culture of your company.
So, what is your business plan personality?
The Online Interactive Plan
Wouldn't it be great if, next time you are in an elevator with that venture capitalist you've been following (stalking) or sitting next to the CEO at a conference, you could pull up your business plan on your phone or tablet?
A site based business plan can do everything a document can - and more. Represent culture, target markets, and your value statements via video. Use interactive charting to display financial scenarios and track progress. Add music to set the tone. Easily update as often as you like. If your team lives and interacts mostly online, and you need to have access to your vision and progress at the tap of a screen, this type of business plan format is for you.
The Visual Plan
If your team talks mostly via pie charts, if "actions speak louder than words" is the group motto, if you are into seeing clients more than you are into writing white papers, a visually based plan could be the most effective for you.
Less is more when it comes to words in this type of plan. Whatever you need to say be done mostly with images, charts and graphs, and the group will get it. And get moving on it.
The Dynamic Plan
Your team members trade data like others trade movie reviews. If code is the common second language, big data is not referencing a font size, and Cassandra is not the name of the new intern in your office, a dynamic plan might be an impactful way to keep everyone engaged in goals.
A plan that automatically changes as the inputs shift can be effective when the group needs to react fast. Connecting goals and tasks with real-time data can help you make the necessary quick decisions to keep your cloud competitive and your employees integrated.
The Traditional Plan
In your office, the walls are lined with hard cover reference materials. Instruction manuals do not get thrown in the circular file. You meet in person and you bring paper. And pens. Sure, you all carry Kindles and iPads, but there are copies of The Economist and the The NewYorker in your bags as well.
There is a place for the traditional business plan on a team whose members can appreciate a finished product in-hand. In an environment where files full of updated documents represent progress and the power of the written word is enduring, a traditional plan will keep the group motivated and deliver a sense of satisfaction.
Regardless of style or format, the most important outcome of a business plan is that it keeps all stakeholders engaged and motivated toward the goals. So don't approach the process with limitations. Build your strategy using the tools that work best for your team.
Alidade Strategy & Communications can help you build the business plan that is right for your organization. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-857-3220.