A Good Business Plan is Never Done

This is true for all business planning, not just lean business planning:

A good business plan is never done. If your business plan is finished, then your company is also finished.

It’s a lot like the legendary farmer’s axe, that has had its handle changed four times and its blade changed three times, but it’s still the same axe.

the farmer's axe

The farmer’s axe

As your company gets used to the planning process, the business plan is always a work in progress. It gets a big refreshment every year, and a review and course correction every month.

While this is true for all business planning, the lean plan is especially good for dealing with this essential reality, because the lean plan is faster and easier to do and therefore easier to review and revise. It’s streamlined, just big enough to run the business.

The idea is that you always have your lean plan up to date. You meet every month to review it. Every so often, as business plan events come up, you spin out of your business plan a formal output piece, whether it’s a pitch presentation, an elevator speech, or a full-fledged formal business plan document.

Do understand, always, that the document, summary, or pitch is not the plan; that’s just output from the plan. It’s the latest version. But the lean business plan goes on, like steering, walking, dribbling, and navigation. A good business plan is never done. If your business plan is finished, then your company is also finished.

Don’t ever wait for a plan to be done. Get going.

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