This was a quote presented by the Business Boffins to a small business planning session sponsored by Business Link. The event was great, well attended, well presented and gave us lots to think about. But after the event, writing the actual business plan was, shall we say, a challenge.
Anyway, the quote is interesting and should ring true for all small businesses. Napoleon took a great Army to Russia, in fact, so did Hitler and both came unstuck by the very cold winter, normal for that part of the world. Your own mother would have looked at the battle plan and would have said. “Where are the gloves and winter coats?” The main message here is very clear – you don’t need to be a genius. Some common sense and a pragmatic approach could have saved many lives.
Round one of business planning left us with a tome to write and a feeling that business plans were for other people and not us. Surely there must be a better way?
Enter Paul Norman of Gibside Associates, who is a sailor that likes to keep things simple. In fact sailing is the perfect analogy for small business planning. You have a boat, a crew, and a destination. Before you set off, you need to plan and it helps to have charts, tide information, weather forecasts and a compass. All very simple things and all are very obvious.
We spent a day with Paul and we now have a very simple methodology that will help us to map out what we do next. I am not about to reveal his materials in this post……. but will say this. The business planning stuff presented to us came from the real world and not from academia. Gibside Associates use this stuff in their own businesses.
I highly recommend Paul Norman as he is anchored in the real world; he has a few battle scars, is very direct and can clearly communicate. If he were to go up a creek, I am sure that he would have a spare paddle!!