Tag Archive for: #businesshelp

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


Why does your company exist? (from your customer’s perspective)

We are seeing a lot of attention being paid in recent years to this idea of knowing your “Why” or Purpose of your business, for good reason.

Discovering the answer to this question can have a profound effect on the success of your business. It provides context for so many other strategic decisions as grow your business, a foundation piece for your business plan.

On the surface, “why” seems like a simple question, yet many business leaders struggle to find a strong, compelling, and succinct answer to this question.

The key to getting to a clear Purpose statement is to focus on your customer’s perspective.

Start with this question:

What fundamental value or benefit do our customers receive from us?

Brainstorm a list of answers with your team. Mix and combine ideas until you have a good starting point. Review and tweak over time

Here’s an illustration. Imagine you are the owner of a company that sells lighthouses. What might be the Purpose of your business?

Something like: Our company purpose is to protect the lives and property of our customers at sea.

With this purpose in mind, the company has the foundation to build out and improve it’s products and services over time. Eg. Life boats, life jackets. GPS systems, charts, etc all flow from this strong purpose statement.

Pontish Yeramyan, CEO of Gap International, wrote in a recent article 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, firefighting 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.”

 When your business plan starts with “Why” the other pieces will follow more easily”

For more tips on planning please visit plangenie.com

Clarity Creates Confidence

No seriously.

Has a prospective client ever asked you this question? Even if they haven’t, at some level, this question is on their mind as they consider their buying decision. What is your answer?

Do you have a clear, succinct response that gets to the core of what is special, unique, or different about your company?

If you ask this question to your leadership team, how consistent is the answer? What answer would you get from your marketing and sales team, your operations team, your finance team, your front-line staff, your forklift driver, your business partners?

Most importantly, what do your customers say about your company?

In documenting your working plan, this is one of the first questions to address. What is your Unique Business Proposition?

Much like we are all different as individuals, every business is different, and unique. Discovering what makes your company unique will clarify your market focus and propel you down the path to attracting, recruiting, and retaining your best customers (and releasing, either through attrition or bold decisions, your worst customers)

Once you have your first draft you can review and revise it at each planning review.  It’s a dynamic exercise. How you described your UBP five years ago will be different today and will be different 5 years from now.

Here’s a few tips to help your search for your UBP:


Answer these questions is a sentence or two; What, How, Who, Where:


  • What does your company do? Is there something special, unique, or different about what your company does?
  • How you do it? Is there something special, unique, or different about how you do what you do?
  • Who are you?. Is there something special, unique, or different about you and your team or your culture? (Tab over to the Values section to look for clues here.)
  • Where do you operate, your geographic reach?


Somewhere in this mix you will find a starting point in your search for your unique identity.

Next, talk to your best customers. Ask, why did they become customers and why do they stay? Then, listen very, very carefully.

Another great source of insight are your business partners – your suppliers, and/or your distributors.

Finally, get your whole team involved, from the executive level to the front line.  Harness the power of collaboration within your company.

For more information on Unique Business Proposition and how it is used on a working business plan, please visit planegenie.com


Please pass along your questions or comments.


Frequently confronted with the argument that you don’t have time to plan, we don’t believe this for a moment.

We all have the same 24 hours in a day, every day. This is not to say you aren’t busy, it’s to say that we know if you make time for planning, it is time well spent and invested. We challenge you to implement the practice of planning.

We adhere to the principle that there is power, or “magic”, in the act of writing our plans down. The magic is the clarity the act of planning provides and the “aha” experiences you have when you write your plans, you give them life. Running your business from a plan is a shift from a passive to active stance for your business.

We named ourselves Plan Genie because we know we all have those “3 wishes” for our business and while we can’t grant wishes, we can help teach and support you to make your own wishes come true in your business.

Planning is a catalyst for learning, growth and clarity in every aspect of your life. Why don’t more businesses plan? It’s a mystery.

To use the analogy of a grocery list. While a business plan is more complicated than a weekly shopping list, it is in essence the same principle and not that much more difficult to get into the habit of. How much more effectively do you use your time when you go to the store with a list. When you have a current written plan you start to see what’s both working and not working in your business. You get grounded and inspired.

Now, while we have so much uncertainty is a good time to get back to the basics of planning.



There has been a lot written about “disruptive innovation” in the last few years. New and creative approaches to established industries are changing the landscape. Examples include Uber disrupting the taxi industry; AirBnB is disrupting the hotel industry. The underlying message is about reminding business leaders to take innovation more seriously and avoid complacency.

We didn’t see it coming, but our business and personal lives have been hit by one of the biggest disruptors in recent history. And it happened quickly, in a matter of a couple of months. Very few, if any businesses or personal lives have escaped. (Uber and AiBnB are being impacted, … a lot of Uber drivers are now doing food delivery via Uber eats… while AirBnB is in disarray ) Whether you have seen a significant loss of revenue, or a major spike, or something close to normal, the way we operate our business has been irreversibly disrupted.

COVID19 has been a disruptive force. And it has created an exceptional opportunity to innovate. As the C19 storm eases, it’s time to renew our plans for the next cycle of our business.

The opportunities are everywhere for new ideas:

Our markets,

How will our market change? How will we adapt? What new products or services, or pricing will we offer?

Our Operations – What have we learned, so far, about how we deliver our products and services to our customers?

Our people – how do we redeploy our people more effectively in the months and years ahead?

Our systems – what lessons have we learned about our embedded way of doing things?

Planning ahead is an essential task for all business leaders. Planning requires more than generating ideas. It is important to cull, prioritize and to write them down in a coherent, easy to understand document that can be shared with your leadership team, your employees, your bank, your partners, and occasionally with your customers.

Taking your thoughts from your head and documenting them is the catalyst that cannot be overlooked and why a written plan is so powerful – there is magic in writing things down and speaking them aloud. Ideas die in the dark.

Now is an excellent time to get your team all rowing towards your next destination.

Any comments? Better still, love to have your questions about planning. What do you need help with?