Monday, March 29

Charlie's Harmonic Business Plan

Brought to you via the Logan City Inside Special Lifestyle Magazine, March 2010 edition.

Charlie's Harmonic Business Plan
Roger Seach, Business Architect, ENACT Harmonic

Part 3
Saturday morning - Charlie and his son Alan are in the study at home. Alan has set up a flip chart.
"What do you want out of life, Dad?"

His father stared in amazement. "What's that got to do with business planning?"
"Dad, if you don't know what you want you life to look like, how will you know what your business needs to provide?"

"Alan, I just want to get the business plan done and get on with it. I don't want psychoanalysis."
"Dad, if you build a house, you have plans, right? You choose the house plans based on what you want that house to contribute to your life, right?"

Charlie nodded.

"So, Dad, we are going to build the business based on what you want it to contribute to your life. Why should it be any different to the house?"

Charlie was silent.

"Now, Dad, let's start with time you want to be working. Let's plan what you will be doing with your time over the next few years"

Charlie decided that in 5 years he wanted to be working 20 hours per week. "But that's impossible", he said to his son.
"No, Dad, it's not. What do you want to spend your free time on?"

"Golf", Charlie replied.
"Okay, dad, how many days do you want to play golf each week?"

"This is ridiculous!" said Charlie. "This is not a business plan! A business plan is a collection of facts and figures that you can give to the bank manager to get a loan. I saw on that Steve Swift did when he wanted to buy a truck."

Alan smiled. "Dad, most people think a business plan is just that. A collection of facts and figures prepared for a particular need and then lost or used as a doorstop on a windy day. YOUR business plan is going to be the motivational document of your business. It will be the rootstock of the flourishing tree that your business is going to become. Trust me!"
"I am yet to be convinced.", replied the father. 

"That's why you need to trust me", responded Alan.

Alan and Charlie spent half of Saturday working out his goals and broke for lunch. Charlie had never known such an experience. As a tradey, he was used to practical and tangible stuff that you could see, touch and measure. He found it difficult "getting in touch with himself" as Alan put it. However, during lunch, he felt a strange new self-awareness. 

"You know, Alan, there may be some benefit to this malarkey after all." He admitted. "I am actually starting to see where I want to be headed but I'm buggered if I know how we are going to get there!"

Alan smiled the smile of wisdom. "That will come later, dad. Before you start to work out the route to do your deliveries, don't you first work out all the places you have to go? Then don't you deliver on the route that is the most efficient in time and distance?"

"Of course", replied Charlie. "It would be wasteful and silly not to."
"So, if we are going to work out our business plan, don't we have to first decide were we are going and define that?" mentored the son. 

"Now i see. If I work out what I want in life, then I can work out where all the resources will come from to achieve it! An the resources will have to come out of the business!" The light dawned and was so sudden, it almost shone out of Charlie's eyes. 
"Yes dad, you are finally starting to get the picture. We CLARIFY then we UNDERSTAND then we PRIORITISE!

I call it the "CUP" process. Clarify, Understand, Prioritise.

"Come on, son", said the older man. "Hurry and finish your coffee. We need to get this CUP of our filling up!"

Alan smiled with satisfaction and finished his coffee.

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