Posted on December 4, 2021 @ 11:15:00 AM by Paul Meagher
In this blog, my aim is to identify the most important features of business planning. Three critical features of business planning all begin with the letter D so I am calling this perspective "3D Business Planning". The 3 critical features of business planning are: Decision making, Design and Documentation. Business planning is the interplay of these 3 types of activities in pursuit of an economic
I think it is helpful to highlight the importance of decision making in the business planning process. Your business plan may not reveal the amount of time and thought you spent in coming up with the main objectives outlined in your plan and the approach you settled upon for achieving those objectives. Often the decisions you make are constrained by available capital and resources
and by the costs associated with various options for achieving your goals.
The two other features of business planning, design and documentation, are helpful in the decision making process. Often the decision you are making involves selecting between different design options based on cost, feasibility, aesthetics or other dimensions. Documenting your design digitally or on paper can uncover issues (easier for others to critique) and assist in making good decisions.
There is often significant design work involved in business planning. That work might involve designing a physical space, a manufacturing process, a business logo, a website, a corporate structure, etc... When you are designing something you often end up coming up with 2 or more options and deciding on one of those options. Startup business planning may be for a conventional business with guidance from how others have done it in the past, or it could be for a new idea that involves design work
that is more creative and innovative in nature. The designs you come up with as part of the business planning process can help your decision making and also help to fill in critical parts of your business plan with fleshed out details to work from.
You can do designing and deciding in your head, but ultimately if you want to share your business plan with others your need to document your decisions and designs in a business plan document. Documenting your decisions and designs in a final form allows these decisions and designs to be constructively criticized by yourself and others. Critical feedback
is necessary if you want to get some useful feedback on your decisions & designs and refine your business planning.
In this blog I didn't get into the nitty gritty details on how to put together a business plan for a potential funder. There are many other sources that provide that these details and I encourage you to consult them.
What I focused on in this blog were higher level aspects of business planning. 3D business planning focuses on decision making, designing, and documenting as three critical aspects of business planning. One can view deciding, designing and documenting as discrete stages of business planning, but I view them as being mutually supportive activities. Business planning is when design, decision making and documentation come together to create a plan for conducting your business into the future with an economic return that makes it worth doing.