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Napkin Business Plan

Napkin Plan – A business plan on a serviette?

By Chris Stanton-Cook Google

This little piece of writing will change your business planning approach forever.

I’m about to give you the outline for the easiest effective and motivational business planning tool I know.

Napkin Business Plan

Simple and Effecitive Business Plan

The best time for planning is when you’re relaxed and enjoying yourself.  Often that can be when you’re having a meal at a restaurant or a quiet cup of coffee somewhere pleasant. At those times even planning how to do less than inviting tasks can be fun.

This method works because it keeps things simple.

This method removes clutter and unnecessary detail.

Pareto’s 80/20 applies here.  80% of most business plans is filling in the detail.  That 80% often makes a plan unusable and it loses it’s power because of it’s complexity.

The “devil is in the detail” so let’s keep the detail to a minimum and convert an idea into a working plan by doing the important 20% and then putting it into action.

It’s strategic, it’s fun and it’s effective.

The game is simple.
You must know –

1 what you want to achieve

2 why it will make your business better

3 how you will know it has been done

So you can discover

1 what has to be done to achieve the goal

2 when it has to be done

3 who will be responsible to see it gets done

 

Grab a Napkin or Serviette or similar sized piece of paper.

The size is important because it sets boundaries which will stop you becoming bogged down in detail.

Step 1

Define your objective!

Get a crystal clear vision of your desired outcome.

Step into the future and discover what you’ll experience when you have achieved this goal.

  • Is it exciting, 
  • Does it feel real
  • Are you motivated to take action to get there?

Yes! – then proceed.

No – then go back to the drawing board.

Step 2

Document the benefits

List the primary and driving benefits and describe how they will improve the business

Step 3 

What has to happen?

Step back into the future and experience all you can about having achieved the goal.

Now look back to where you are and see all the steps you must take unfold before you.

Write your journey as you would a bullet point diary and embellish points of significance.
Brevity with power is the key here.
If you have done this well you will discover, as part of the process, you have completed a mini SWOT analysis of your business in regard to this objective.
You will have identified useful resources you already have, those you need, opportunities in your environment you can take advantage of and some of the pitfalls that could threaten your success.

Step 4 

Set a Time frame

Set a finish date for the project after taking into account the tasks to be completed.
There is no start date because you have already started!

Draw up a draft timeline or even better, if time permits, a Gantt Chart to map the project and its participants (probably not named – see Step 5) activities and commitments.

Step 5

Specify Who is Responsible for Each Element!

Identify who will be responsible to see each step is completed and on time.
The responsible person need not actually complete the element but they must ensure that the element is completed and completed on time.
The work may need to be delegated or even outsourced but the person responsible has to manage the element.

Step 6

Evidence of Success

Write a statement of the evidence you need to see and experience to know this goal has been achieved.

The evidence must be measurable and tangible.

For example in the napkin business plan in the picture above the evidence statement says “This will be achieved on the day we have 20 repeat customers”.

Step 7

Take action and do it – Implement your Plan.

The greatest obstacle to success in any endeavour is taking action.

All success come from doing not thinking.

As you work you will get feedback and that feedback will tell you how you are going and you may need to adjust your activity to correct your course.

Few if any plans have ever gone according to plan.  There is always something that needs adjusting and that’s life.  Be flexible and change the plan as required to meet new conditions.

Your napkin Business Plan should have you focussed on the outcome and never forget there is more than one way to get there and if your initial plan isn’t working then look for an alternate way to achieve your goal.

Chris Stanton-Cook

5 Responses to “Napkin Business Plan”

  1. Ezequiel says:

    Have you used blogs for link building? I was told by a friend that they are
    useful but can’t tell if they have any benefit
    I will definitely be returning, ’tis a nice blog

    • admin says:

      Blogs can be useful but do require effort and patience.
      My link building has been from articles and posts and videos and seems to work reasonably well.
      Consistent posting of quality information is to my miond the best ingredient to engage readers and have activity which google and other search engines like.

    • admin says:

      Blogs can be useful but do require effort and patience.
      My link building has been from articles and posts and videos and seems to work reasonably well.
      Consistent posting of quality information is to my mind the best ingredient to engage readers and have activity which google and other search engines like.

  2. SEO is a weird industry, because the work is very technical it is best done by people who have studied the industry and have experience, this can be quite rare with modern marketers though
    Added a link on Facebook, hope you dont mind!

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