How do you prepare your business plans? If you are working in a group then I'm sure that flip charts, Blu-tack, whiteboards and Post it notes play a big part in your business planning process. And I’m guessing that it's only the final detail that makes it onto the computer. I can't imagine a group planning session where the computer is the centre of attention!
Yes, computers have their place but I always start with good old pen and paper.
First I need to plan the big picture, and I need to be able to see it all as it develops. The 3 to 5 year vision and goals plan fits very well into this method.
Then as I'm going through the process I can stand back and review what I see. It’s rather hard to stand back from the laptop and review it.
Everyone has their own methods of planning. If it's your holiday packing for example, I'm guessing you use a checklist but that's just one aspect. Several of my friends have a complete mind map; where they are going, finances, getting to the destination, things to take, things to do before they leave home etc. They want to, and can see the big picture.
In the same way, having your three year business plan in a visual one pager has lots of advantages:
Global business planning is no different. You need to be able to pull in lots of information, ideas, mini plans, financials, and that is so much easier on paper. The computer will force you to be too organised and can stifle your thought process. Megan Kerr’s great blog Five Reasons You Should Plan On Paper will give you much more insight.
So, ditch the computer for a while, find a pen and paper, post-it notes or cards and get planning. Right now is the right time to get your big picture in place for 2014 – 2016.
Additional Reading: 3 Page Business Plan
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