Business Planning Challenges

“A Goal Without a Plan is Just a Wish”

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Is This your Challenge?

The FPA Research and Practice Institute study revealed that only 50% of advisors had a formal, written business plan.  And, those that did have a plan, only 31% actually used it as a guiding document.  Interestingly, no advisor would allow a client to invest in a company or start a company without a business plan.   Why is there this discrepancy?

Few would dispute that those who plan enjoy better results than those that don’t. Fueling the one who plans is an innate hunger to improve. As Benjamin Franklin said, “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvementachievement, and success have no meaning.”

Think back to the time when a hunger emerged inside you to start your advisory business. Your dreams came into clearer focus as your business planning began. This process linked your mind’s analytical abilities with your heart’s inspiration. Collecting all your thoughts into a single document brought tangibility to this hunger and formed the foundation that allowed you to accept the risks and step forward into action.

That said, few entrepreneurs work with their original business plan. The often harsh reality of running a business day after day smacks against the plan’s clinical, step-by-step thinking. But, this inevitable friction does not belie the truth that planning remains a core element of your eventual success (or, if not done, a core reason for failure).

A lack of day-to-day connection is the primary reason why business plans tend to sit on shelves instead of on desk tops. In other words, the initial plan developed a system of “how things should work,” but once the business was formed and reality set in, the plan didn’t reflect “how things are working.”