Consider 2 business plans that are 35 pages and 3,000 words. One plan assists the owner raise $ 4 million in fun

In the Real-estate industry, they use the term Location, Location, Location to describe the importance of key elements of property selection.

In business planning we use the term Strategy, Strategy, Strategy to describe the relative importance of different business planning elements.  Whilst we have developed hundreds of business plans for clients, we have yet to come across one whose strategy has been well thought through from the outset. 

The business that we end up creating a plan for, generally looks very different from the one the client came to us with, why?  When you look at business planning from a strategic perspective, you often find internal inconsistencies in the strategy.  Ie.  If you do this, then you simply can’t do that!  The strategy is best developed by asking a series of targeted questions (HyperQuestions).

Many people start business planning by finding a template that fits their business and then writing the business planning document.  This approach ignores the critical element of business planning, Strategy, Strategy, Strategy.  The reason this is the most common approach, is that it is easier to write than think.  Most business founders to not know the right questions to ask to develop and refine their strategy.  Once the strategy has been clearly developed and aligned in a hierarchical manner, the document is simply an output. 

So how do we go about creating a consistent strategy as the basis for our business planning process?

Questions, Questions, Questions.  If you engaged a consultant to develop your business plan, they would start by asking a series of questions.  If the consultant is good, these questions will assist in guiding strategy development in a way that appeals to your target audience.  If you are intending to raise capital with your business plan, questions such as how much to you intend to raise, and what is the current valuation can provide a starting point. Of course the structure of the document and its ability to clearly communicate the strategy actions and financial implications is critical, but that is all the document is, simply a structured communication of earlier thinking.

We have developed a new approach to business planning by using a series of pre-structured questions that actually build based on your answers to previous questions, effectively automating the strategy development associated with business planning.  This enables automated creation of your business planning documentation

Marcus Tarrant is a leading or management consultant, entrepreneur and thought leader in the field of Business Planning and Entrepreneurship. Marcus has a Bachelor of Economics and a Masters in Entrepreneurship.   He has worked for leading consulting firms including Deloitte Consulting, leading major strategy development and business planning initiatives.  Business Planning HQ was developed to bring the advantages gained by employing a consultant, without the associated cost.  Business Planning HQ has an exclusive license to the HyperQuestion technology to rapidly accelerate the time taken to develop a business plan from Days or Weeks to just a few hours.

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