One of the requirements of the SAP PartnerEdge program is the preparation and submission of a yearly business plan. Unfortunately, every year I see so many partners missing out on a great opportunity to stop and think about their plan and make it a contributor to their success.
Instead, they wait until January or February of the new year when , after being told by their channel manager, hey you have to do your business plan, they end up submitting a basic revenue forecast statement – more often than not, determined by their channel manager and accepted by the partner because hey – you have to put something in to your PRM Business Plan right?
As Tim Berry, the author of The Plan As You Go Business Plan says… “Businesses need plans to optimize growth and development according to priorities” so how can you make effective, well thought out and strategic decisions without planning?
In my experience, the short answer is – you can’t. The best you can hope for is luck or intuitive decision making that delivers the right result – similar to what Malcolm Gladwell talks about in his book Blink which in his words is … “a book about rapid cognition, about the kind of thinking that happens in a blink of an eye. When you meet someone for the first time, or walk into a house you are thinking of buying, or read the first few sentences of a book, your mind takes about two seconds to jump to a series of conclusions. Well, “Blink” is a book about those two seconds, because I think those instant conclusions that we reach are really powerful and really important and, occasionally, really good.”
The question is do you really want to leave those decisions to jumping to conclusions or is it better to combine the two?
In my experience its better to combine the two – begin with what your gut feeling or experience tells you but then test it, measure it and share it with those around you that you are depending on to help you get the right results and drive your sucesses.
So over the next few weeks I am going to share some information about the whole process behind business planning, what works, what doesn’t as well as some tools and resources I have found that can help you be more successful and hopefully some guest posts from some of the people I have worked with that I regard as great sources of knowledge on the subject.
Along the way, I’d love to hear from you about what has and hasn’t worked for you and if possible, why.