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In the dynamic landscape of business, having a robust plan is akin to having a GPS for your company’s journey. Yet, the effectiveness of this guiding beacon is contingent on two critical elements: a solid structure and a consistent process.

The Backbone: Solid Structure

Imagine trying to build a house without a blueprint. It’s a daunting task, fraught with uncertainties. Similarly, drafting a plan to run your business without a well-defined structure for planning is akin building a house without knowing what rooms to include or any dimensions. It’s the framework that ensures every component fits seamlessly into the larger picture.

A solid structure provides clarity. It delineates responsibilities, sets milestones, and establishes a clear path towards objectives. It’s the foundation upon which a business can confidently chart its course, knowing that every step is intentional and purposeful.

The Engine: Consistent Process

Consistency is the engine that drives progress. It ensures that the plan remains dynamic and relevant in the face of ever-changing circumstances. Just as a GPS provides real-time updates on traffic and road conditions, a consistent planning process keeps the business agile and responsive.

With a defined process in place, adjustments become a seamless part of the journey. It enables the business to adapt to market shifts, capitalize on emerging opportunities, and navigate through challenges with confidence.

The GPS for Business Success

Together, a solid structure and a consistent process form the GPS for a business. They provide a reliable roadmap, ensuring that everyone in the company knows where they are, where they’re headed, and precisely how to get there.

Incorporating this powerful combination into your business strategy isn’t just about planning; it’s about empowering your team with the tools they need to steer towards success, even in uncharted territories. It’s the assurance that no matter what twists and turns arise, the destination remains within reach.

So, as you embark on your business journey, remember: a well-structured plan, supported by a consistent process, isn’t just a luxury; it’s a necessity. It’s the difference between wandering and purposefully progressing towards your business goals.
In the end, it’s not just about the plan; it’s about the journey, and the confidence that comes from knowing you’re on the right path.

Investing in a documented, well-structured plan for your business isn’t just a choice, it’s a strategic move. It’s more than a roadmap; it’s a catalyst for success.

Surprisingly, fewer than 20% of small to medium-sized business leaders seize this advantage. If you’re among the 80% skeptical about the value of plotting your business’s course, it’s time to reevaluate. The potential returns, both for you and your company, are nothing short of transformative.

What’s the real return on this investment? Here’s just a few of the areas that will quickly show a measurable ROI.

Business Growth and Profitability

ROI: Increased revenue and profitability.
How: A well-structured, narrative plan helps businesses identify growth opportunities, streamline operations, and optimize resource allocation, resulting in increased revenue and profitability.

Operational Efficiency

ROI: reduced operational costs and resource wastage
How: Effective planning improves operational efficiency by eliminating redundancies, minimizing inefficiencies, and optimizing resource allocation, leading to cost savings.

Informed Decision-Making

ROI: Better decision-making, minimizing risks.
How: A clearly written plan equips business leaders with the skills and insights needed to make informed decisions based on data, market insights, and clear objectives, reducing the risk of costly mistakes.

Enhanced Productivity and Time Management

ROI: Improved productivity and time management.
How: Effective planning allows businesses to prioritize tasks, allocate resources efficiently, and optimize time management, resulting in improved productivity and reduced time wastage.

Strategic Business Expansion

ROI: Successful expansion into new markets or ventures.
How: A coherent and complete documented plan helps businesses analyze markets, identify growth opportunities, and devise actionable strategies for expansion, leading to successful market entry and growth.

Accountability and Measurement

ROI: Enhanced accountability and measurement of results.
How: A documented plan creates accountability and allows for the measurement of progress against predefined goals, leading to a better understanding of what works and what needs improvement.

Adaptability and Resilience

ROI: Increased adaptability and resilience in a changing market.
How: Businesses with structured plans are better prepared to navigate changing market conditions, pivot when necessary, and capitalize on emerging opportunities.

Competitive Advantage

ROI: A stronger position in the market.
How: Planning tools and processes help businesses differentiate themselves from competitors by enabling them to offer innovative products or services and provide superior customer value.

Reduced stress, more control

ROI: Improved personal well-being and balance.
How: Taking ideas out of your head and putting them down in a document creates clarity. Clarity creates confidence. You and your team will sleep better at night knowing where you are going and how you will get there.

Investment Attractiveness

ROI: Increased attractiveness to investors and lenders.
How: A well-structured plan demonstrates a clear vision and strategy, making the business more appealing to potential investors and lenders, leading to increased access to capital.

Embracing the discipline of operating from a documented plan carries no exorbitant expenses, only an investment of time and effort. This habit, however, pays dividends beyond measure. It doesn’t just refine business performance; it enriches personal fulfillment. The resulting ROI encompasses amplified revenue, streamlined costs, astute decision-making, and a fortified competitive edge. These factors amalgamate to chart the course for the sustainable growth of your company. The question isn’t whether you can afford to invest in a structured plan, it’s whether you can afford not to.

Discover the Secrets to Maximizing Efficiency and Success for Small to Medium-Sized Businesses


In the intricate tapestry of nature, the flight of geese offers a remarkable lesson in teamwork, strategy, and efficiency. For small to medium-sized business leaders, this avian marvel provides valuable insights into effective business planning and alignment. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the world of geese in flight and unveil the strategies that can elevate your business to new heights.

Why Geese are Great Business Planners:

Much like successful businesses, geese are exceptional planners. Their migratory journey, spanning thousands of miles, is a testament to their strategic prowess. Every aspect of their flight is meticulously calculated – from route selection to timing. Small to medium-sized business leaders can learn from this precision, understanding the importance of detailed business planning for sustained growth and success.

Maximizing Efficiency through Formation:

Research has shown that geese flying in formation are an astounding 72% more efficient than when flying solo. This principle can be directly applied to business operations. When teams are aligned and working in harmony, the collective effort results in significantly higher efficiency and productivity. This serves as a powerful reminder for SMB leaders to foster a culture of collaboration and teamwork.

The Power of Alignment:

Geese showcase exceptional alignment in flight. Each bird maintains a specific position relative to the others, reducing air resistance and conserving energy. In the business world, alignment translates to a shared vision, clear communication, and a unified approach to goals. When every member of the team understands their role and works towards a common objective, the business can achieve remarkable efficiency and success.

Is your flock flying in formation?


As small to medium-sized business leaders, the flight of geese offers an invaluable lesson in effective business planning and alignment. By taking inspiration from these avian marvels, businesses can soar to new heights of efficiency and success. So, ask yourself: Is your flock flying in formation? Embrace the lessons from the sky, and watch your business reach new horizons.


How Collaborative Planning Fosters a Stronger Workforce and Reduces Turnover

In the fast-paced world of business, employee retention is a key metric of success. Retaining talented individuals not only saves resources but also contributes to a more stable and productive work environment. But how can you keep your best employees engaged and committed for the long term? The answer might lie in the simple yet powerful concept of teamwork and collaborative planning.

The Importance of Employee Retention

Before we dive into the benefits of collaborative planning, let’s first understand why employee retention is so crucial. High turnover rates can be costly and disruptive to any organization. The expense of recruiting, hiring, and training new employees, along with the loss of institutional knowledge, can take a toll on productivity and profitability. Moreover, a revolving door of employees can negatively impact workplace morale and cohesion.

The Power of Collaborative Planning

Now, let’s explore how collaborative planning can help address the challenge of employee retention.

  1. Fostering a Sense of Ownership:
  • When employees are involved in the planning process, they feel a sense of ownership over their work and the direction of the company. This feeling of being part of something bigger can significantly boost job satisfaction.
  1. Building Stronger Relationships:
  • Collaborative planning encourages communication and teamwork among employees. It brings people from various departments together to share ideas and insights. This interaction strengthens workplace relationships, creating a more cohesive and supportive team.
  1. Aligning Goals and Expectations:
  • Planning together ensures that everyone understands the company’s goals and their role in achieving them. This alignment reduces misunderstandings and helps employees see how their contributions directly impact the organization’s success.
  1. Empowering Problem-Solving:
  • When teams plan together, they become more adept at problem-solving. They learn to identify challenges early and work together to find solutions. This not only enhances productivity but also fosters a culture of innovation.
  1. Recognizing Individual Contributions:
  • Collaborative planning allows leaders to recognize and reward individual contributions. Acknowledging employees’ efforts and achievements can boost morale and motivation.
  1. Providing Growth Opportunities:
  • Planning sessions often reveal opportunities for skill development and career growth. Employees who see a clear path for advancement are more likely to stay with an organization.

Consider the following real-life examples of companies that have embraced collaborative planning to improve employee retention:

Conclusion: Start Planning Together Today

In today’s competitive job market, retaining top talent is a strategic imperative. Collaborative planning not only helps organizations achieve their goals more effectively but also creates a workplace where employees feel valued and engaged. By planning together, you can foster a stronger, more cohesive team that’s not only productive but also committed for the long haul. So, start planning together today and watch your team thrive and stay together.

Remember, teams that plan together truly do stay together.

Have you experienced the benefits of collaborative planning in your workplace? Share your thoughts and success stories in the comments below.

In an article published by The Globe and Mail, Jon Umstead proposes that running your business from a documented plan will increase your odds of success by 30-50%. He further states that business leaders who learn how to be better planners not only improve their own business and personal success, but they can collectively change economic growth throughout the country. This article is worth a read. See link at the end.

When I first read this article several years ago, it stuck with me. I knew from my own business experience and from chairing a CEO peer group, that documented plans, along with a commitment to an ongoing planning process, really works. I’m now on a quest to help business leaders everywhere be more successful through better planning.

Here are three things to consider when business planning:

• Structuring the plan
This is the starting point. Once you have clear picture of what information to include in the plan, and what isn’t necessary, this work can go quickly. With a solid structure, it’s simply a matter of adding content. And content can be easily changed and revised over time using the same structure.
• Documenting the plan
Plans kept in your head, or another person’s head, aren’t helpful. Only when you distil your ideas onto a document can these ideas be understood and added to by others.
• Committing to planning
Even well structured and fully documented plans grow stale quickly. Effective planning is a continuous process. It requires discipline to stick to a review schedule with so many competing demands on your time. Take a break, check on your progress, celebrate your achievements and reset priorities for the next quarter.

Over the past few years, we developed a structure for planning in business that makes this task relatively easy for any size business at any stage of growth. We are also compiling resources about planning on our web site (PlanGenie.com). If you have any great tools that you have used successfully, or insights, or questions on this topic, I would love to hear from you.

If you are already on the planning “bandwagon”, please share this message with others. Let’s get the economy going again.


What happens when we don’t plan?

Jim Collins, author of “Good to Great”, in his keynote address to a
recent international Vistage Chair conference summarized 12 attributes
of great leaders he has studied.

Observation number one: there is a strong correlation between
planning and improved results.

The criminal mastermind known as The Joker, who’s famous quote
includes: “I don’t have a plan, I just do things”. Which is why he has
never really achieved anything despite being this charismatic character.

He is the mirror image of Batman who observes, analyses, and only
acts once he has a plan of action… the Joker has a loose goal, but he
just does things hoping they will somehow help him reach that goal…
His luck is mistaken for talent.

Are you Batman or The Joker?

For more information on how to run your business from a written plan,
please check out our web site plangenie.com

The Art of Moving Forward is a Top Priority of Every Business Leader and Entrepreneur. But How?

If you wish for a steady stride to navigate the challenges of the coming year, putting yourself in the driver’s seat is key. After all you are the navigator.


As the captain of the ship, what is your highest priority? When we put the question in this nautical context, the answer is obvious; Always be crystal clear on your destination and how you intend to get there.


This sailing metaphor makes this assertion intuitively obvious. It is absurd to think that a captain of a ship, a plane or a bus driver would venture forth without knowing the destination and having plotted the route.


Nor would we, as passengers or crew, choose to embark on any such journey.


Once the captain and his leadership team are clear on the destination and route, the next step is to share this information with the crew and help them understand their responsibilities on the trip.


Inevitably, course corrections are made along the way: route changes, timelines adjusted, emergencies resolved. The plan is routinely updated and communicated to the crew.


As the leader of your enterprise, how effective are you at documenting and communicating the future direction of your business?


  • Are your short- and long-term goals clearly defined?


  • Does your leadership team know and agree on the “route” – the steps you need to take to reach your destination?


  • Do you have a culture that supports the venture? Does everyone understand the “rules of the village”?


  • How clear are you and your team on where you are today? is there a common understanding of what you sell, who you sell to, your partners and alliances, and your competitors.


  • How clear is the crew on their individual areas of contribution?


  • Do you have an adequate number of “seats on the bus”, and are they filled with qualified people?


A business without a working plan is like a ship sailing without a destination.

The art of moving forward requires mapping, communication and action steps just as is required for reaching any destination, whether in business or in your personal life. 


For more information and easy to use tools on maintaining a working plan for your business please visit our web site. Share your views and insights about planning with others on the “community comments” section.


Jan 27, 2021                                                             © Plan Genie

I received a reminder from my physician’s office this week to book my drive through vaccination time slot, which got me thinking about business health.

How is vaccination related to business?

A vaccine stimulates your immune system to produce antibodies, exactly like it would if you were exposed to the disease. After getting vaccinated, you develop immunity to that disease, without having to get the disease first.

This is what makes vaccines such powerful medicine. Unlike most medicines, which treat or cure diseases, vaccines prevent them.

Business planning is a quasi vaccine for your business. The act of planning stimulates your business immune system. Resiliency and immunity don’t just happen, they are learnt and built.

Which component of your business do you want to vaccinate this season?

  • Re write your Unique Business Proposition?
  • Clarify your company Purpose?
  • Set new short and long term goals?
  • Document the new strategies you have adopted through the Covid experience?
  • Revisit your Value statements – would it be helpful to restate the required behaviors and beliefs you need from your team to succeed in the months and years ahead?
  • Any changes in your products and services, fees, or your target market?
  • Time to refresh and strengthen your relationships with your business partners – your suppliers and/or distributors?
  • Are your departmental plans current for the next quarter, priorities identified and moving forward, or has your leadership team fallen back to reactive mode?
  • Is your organization chart up to date, capturing the changes over the past six months

Some of us tend to be vaccine and needle adverse. Working on your business heath can activate the same feelings of resistance. It can be nerve wracking to know it might hurt a little, even make us feel a bit sick, to find out things aren’t working quite as we want.

You know what they say, “an ounce of prevention”.

Stay Healthy!

For help with these questions or any other help you may need to improve your business health drop us an email.

The Foundation

We all know that building any structure starts with a solid foundation. The same is true of your business plan. The foundation for your business plan is your BUSINESS PLAN SUMMARY.

Your plan summary contains five important pieces of information. The rest of your plan extends from this foundation and is easier to assemble when you have this document clearly written.

The five pieces of your summary are:

  • Your Unique Business Proposition – what makes your company special, unique and different?
  • The Purpose of your business – Why does your company exist, as seen from the customer’s perspective? At a fundamental level, what value or benefit does your company create for your customers?
  • Your Destination – Your longer term goals, your picture of success 3 years from now.
  • Your One Year Goals – Desired outcomes in the next 12 months?
  • Your Strategy – In broad terms, how you will achieve these results?

Let’s look at the first two points on this list.

Unique business proposition: In a couple of sentences, describe what makes your business unique, special and different. This can usually be found in:

What you do.

How you do it.

Where you do it.

Who you are.

When you write this information down and begin discussing it with your leadership team, it will lead to crystallizing these ideas. (Tip: Always good to check with your customers for their perspective on this).

Becoming clearer about what makes your business unique will guide the future direction of your business and provide a reference for key strategic decisions as you grow into the future




Your Purpose:

Why does your company exist, as seen from the customer’s perspective?

Every business has a purpose. What is yours?

If your business is building lighthouses, what might your Purpose be?

Something like: “we protect our customers from foundering on hidden perils at sea”





Pontish Yeramyan, CEO of Gap International, wrote about being purposeful:

“The 21st Century Organization can also differentiate itself by operating within a bigger context than a vision or mission, something more expansive. It’s not enough anymore to simply have a clear direction – people must be able to throw their entire selves into the game to be successful, with full engagement of heart and mind. We have found that when leaders leverage Purpose, it creates a competitive advantage that’s difficult or even impossible to replicate. Purpose creates the ability for people to care about something much bigger than their personal concerns and fully apply their talent to meaningful endeavours.

 If you think about it, Being Purposeful creates the platform for organization success, because it taps into a reservoir of potential energy latent within the organization. When peoples’ orientation to their job transforms from performing work to that of making a difference, they become exponentially more effective at coming together to produce extraordinary results. It becomes possible to consistently produce results beyond what is predictable in the normal flow of business. Powerful strategies can be created and re-created when purpose is present.

Purpose gives people a far more expansive space to create and grow, where creative, purpose-based thinking replaces crisis-based, fire fighting thinking. An organization of people who have connected themselves to something bigger can thrive rather than simply survive –they can move fast together and nimbly adjust strategies and tactics to succeed.”

Once you have draft versions of your Unique Business Proposition and Purpose statement, it’s time to do some goal setting. Move on to sections 3,4,5 of your plan summary.

Here’s the good news, unlike a physical foundation, you can come back and revise these sections of your plan if you aren’t completely satisfied with your initial efforts.





C19 is “disruptive Innovation” on steroids. Every business has been disrupted, even those that are seeing revenue growth through this period. C19 has been the disrupter, and the best leaders will, and already are, looking at their business critically, using this situation to find new, innovative opportunities, both externally (customers, supply chain), and inside their companies (deployment of people, operating systems).

The challenge for many SME leaders is transferring their new ideas and evolving vision into a working plan.

A number of practical questions arise:

  • Where do I start?
  • How do I get past the initial resistance from some members of my team?
  • How do I translate my future vision into measurable goals?
  • What are the most important pieces to include in a high level summary of our future vision?
  • How do I incorporate my values and cultural changes in the plan?
  • How do I integrate new ideas with our current methods of doing business?
  • How far into the future should we plan?
  • How often should I review and update my plan?
  • How do I maintain momentum when I need to make major changes (pivot) in the future?
  • How do I engage my team in creating departmental plans?
  • Who do I share my plan with and how do I do this?

The devil is in the details.

When you are ready to put some of your new ideas into play, a good starting point is drafting or refreshing your Business Plan Summary. A template with detailed instructions is available at plangenie.com.

This content rich web site will also help you find answers to the other questions listed above.

The act of writing a business plan is a powerful catalyst to self discovery and clarity.