New companies are born out of ideas that become projects. Then business plans that serve as a guide in their execution and to raise funds to be able to launch them into the market. However, business plans are of little use to some mainly for three reasons:
1. The complexity of the many variables that compose them (strategy, team, marketing plan, financial forecast and execution program) and that must also interact with each other;
2. The uncertainty that the unstoppable and accelerated progress of technology generates, continuously modifies consumption habits and quickly converts existing business models into obsolete;
3. Hardly foreseeable aspects such as geopolitics that may slightly or greatly affect the viability of the project.
If we also add that investors who read them will hardly believe the reflected financial calculations, since “Excel holds it all”, we have few arguments left to dedicate sweat and tears to such a beautiful document.
Despite these prominent arguments, as well as others sometimes no less important, business plans are nevertheless good guides if they clearly show us the way forward towards the final purpose, whose layout must necessarily be corrected throughout the journey. to adapt to the unpredictable changes.
However, many leaders and entrepreneurs have difficulties in defining a clear vision that can inspire stakeholders, especially their collaborators and future clients. Not questioning the fundamental aspects and the subsequent development of their actions inevitably leads to inconsistencies and confusing messages that result in failed businesses, mediocre results, demotivated work teams and unsatisfied investors. Simon Sinek in his bestseller “Start with why” very aptly shows how this simple question, which must necessarily be formulated by all leaders at the beginning of their strategic plan and communicate it properly, can lead to the success or failure of any project.
It is curious to see that despite its importance many leaders still ignore this fundamental aspect. How can we motivate our teams without sharing the core values or communicating the meaning of our idea or project? Moreover, some still lack a clear idea of what they intend to achieve in the long term and “push” in any direction, sometimes even in opposite directions! In addition, I find more and more entrepreneurs than by their nature (say vision, enthusiasm, ambition and risk capacity) based on a business idea they concentrate on making great and beautiful presentations to try to attract investors – desperately in many cases – but which obviate the “why” of their project, as well as to reflect and justify it in the business plan, a fact that will hardly inspire and attract interested parties unless they are excessively impulsive and to obtain fortuitous results. Challenging them in this area is a joy and when they see (and accept) being naked in strategy they are helped to define it and refine the message to be transmitted.
Many of them, even some investors, come with personal justifications as if they themselves represent the market to which they are going to go with the same guarantees, and sometimes absurd conviction, such as when you buy a lottery ticket and you think you’ll be winner because it’s your lucky day. Did they forget the importance of marketing? Ideas, no matter how good and beautiful they may seem, are not “sold” if the emotional part of those who integrate the same values and beliefs is not addressed. In addition, the sense that the project can have is definitely a very powerful stimulation lever in organizations and that in most cases it is unknown or not given the importance it deserves to attract and preserve talent. But are we talking about leadership or strategy? If we refer to the previous drawing and confront it with the following one, we will see that both come together since inspiring and defining the strategy to be implemented lies in the function of any leader, whether in view of a project, a company or even a political program. Then it is up to the directors of each area to define how to implement the strategy and finally to the subordinates to execute it.
And you, how do you carry your own inspiration and how do you transfer it to your collaborators? Have you already designed a successful business plan for your projects?