Sunday, August 12, 2007

The missing ingredient in business plans? TALENT!

The lack of the right talent at the right time can hamstring even the best laid business plans, so why is it left out of so many of them? Let's look at a hypothetical case to illustrate the point.

Imagine you are running a business and your business plan calls for a shift from your normal product line of industrial widgets - now you want to get into the widget customization business. The key to success is your ability to crank out a new and better series of widgets that can be adapted to meet your customers varied widget needs. So you ramp up your business plan - You build out your factory to handle the variations and increased production. You get your suppliers on-board to ensure you always have inventory to produce widgets. Heck, you even got yourself a slick custom widget ad-campaign! Now all you need are some super talented, consultative widget subject matter experts / consultants / salespeople.

And that's when it hits you - you never determined if that kind of talent even exists in your market! Turns out that you didn't know that there are very few people who can really sell customized widget solutions, and they all work for your competitor! Wow - don't YOU feel silly?? All ramped up and no one to sell it! Try explaining that little oversight to the shareholders.

The key to your widget “secret sauce” was people with the specific talents you need to get the job done, and you forgot to include them in your business plan. Living proof that if we fail to plan we’re actually planning to fail!


Take a look at your business planning process. If PEOPLE are not accounted for early on in the process, change your process. The best ideas, technology and products are all useless unless you have the right people working on them.


Tim Berry said...

Nice post. I'm a professional business planner, books, articles, blog, etc. and I second your comment. Somewhere in planning is what we call a filter that separates the ideas -- a dime a dozen -- from the opportunities, which are much more valuable. And it isn't an opportunity if you don't have the right people.

-- Tim Berry

johnpetersen said...

Interesting concept and site. You'll have to keep us up to date on how things progress over time.Very interesting... it is a concept I will have to fully grasp, good luck with your venture.