« Celebrate Your Accomplishments! | Main | Developing a Better Business/Life Balance »

Analyze and Update Your Business Plan

Posted on May 01, 2007

By Bonnie Wallsh, CMP, CMM

"Everyone's got it in him, if he'll only make up his mind and stick at it. None of us is born with a stop-valve on his powers or with a set limit to his capacities. There's no limit possible to the expansion of each one of us."       Charles M. Schwab, Industrialist

As your business grows and develops, the danger arises that entrepreneurs shift their focus from their clients to continuing the formula which brought them success. They lose sight of the nuances in the marketplace and their business suffers. Although it is common knowledge that no one client should compose too great a portion of one’s business, it is easy to fall into the rut of focusing too much on just one or two clients while neglecting to diversify your client base and marketing your services. The danger comes when you lose a piece of business because of management changes or centralization despite performing exemplary service.

Many years ago, I attended a full day MPI Greater New York Chapter workshop on “Marketing your Services to Your Client/Organization” presented by Patrick Lynch. He talked about how every organization goes through 3 growth stages which he called Start-Up, Growth, and Re-Invention. His analysis is still applicable to entrepreneurs today. In the Start-Up phase, the organization will do whatever is necessary to make the business work. After finding the winning formula, during the Growth stage, the emphasis shifts to repeating the formula without making any changes. Management concentrates on what has worked rather than on the changing customer. The company hits the wall and change is mandatory if the company is to survive. Think about cultural diversity where the minority will become the new majority, generational differences, and the global economy in which we live. Change can result in a crisis or an opportunity. In the 3rd stage, Re-Invention, organizations begin to take risks, become innovative, and move quickly.

What stage is your business in? Are you taking time out to analyze and update your business and marketing plans or are you consumed by day-to-day details? Consider taking a business retreat with your key decision makers or attending an educational program with your peers to benefit from other perspectives. I took a week off from work in the fall, 2005 to pursue my CMM (Certified Meeting Management) designation in Whistler, British Columbia. We were a diverse group of 56 people from Canada and the United States who participated in a 4 day program designed to help us think strategically rather than tactically. There was a take-home exam based on the 8 sessions in the program. They were Thinking and Acting Strategically, Making the Most of Personal Differences, Strategic Financial Management, Strategic Risk Management, Strategic Negotiation, Strategic Marketing & Entrepreneurship, Creating Strategic Business Plans, and Technology Strategy. The culmination of the program was a business plan that was due about 10 weeks after the program ended. This was an invaluable opportunity to reassess my business and myself.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Analyze and Update Your Business Plan:


The comments to this entry are closed.

Previous Gurus

January 2009

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31