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Set your business plan into action

Every month I try to figure out which subject to pick for this column. I picked Creating or adapting business models for the new economic conditions then forgot about it until the deadline was looming.

I then had to look at it again to figure out what was wrong. I think it is the new economic conditions part. What are the new economic conditions? If anyone can give me a reasonable and plausible future economic perspective, I would be much obliged.

But that is the point. Business people need to develop a picture of where their business will fit in those market conditions of 5-10 years time, and at the moment, that is nearly impossible.

Chaos theory for entrepreneurs

When I was researching for a workbook myself and Brian O’Kane wrote on Grow your own business, I came across Funky business. The best way to describe the book is chaos theory for entrepreneurs. It will scare the living daylights out of you.

It made me realise that there is no point anymore in trying to comprehend the chaos in technology, the economy, etc. It is about trying to simplify the environment you operate in. We came up with what we called the strategic box. What the strategic box does is to frame the window through which you look at your environment.

The box consists of six statements that form the overall window:

  1. Vision statement: a vivid Youtube clip in your mind of where your business is going to be in 5-10 years time
  2. Mission statement: the purpose of your company;
  3. Value statement: the values or soul of your company
  4. Passion statement: what is the business passionate about;
  5. Positioning statement: how you want your business to be perceived;
  6. Resource statement: what resources do you have available (time, money).

The reason I mention the box is that before you start considering the business model, you need to have developed a strategic perspective first.

Innovation is key

On a very practical level, the adaptation to the new world involves ongoing cost-cutting; embracing new technology; digitisation of your company wherever possible; making innovation a key function in the company (at the same level as finance and sales); using new (social) media to engage with clients; adopting |e-commerce; and watching over your shoulder for a competitor from anywhere in the world, left of field, when you least expect it.

Prepare for war. I suggest you read The 33 Strategies of War by Robert Greene. No plan survives contact with the enemy. At least a strategic framework will make you more prepared.

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