What’s in a good business plan?

As I spend Friday night watching The Magnificent Seven, which is based on the Seven Samarai I got to thinking about business plans. OK, they’re not related to business plans, but whatever.

I was recently reading an article at Strategy+Business.com called “Our 10 Most Enduring Ideas” and “Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done” and have some combined notes to share with you:

Five important items to have in your business plan:

  1. It is timely, meaning that it addresses a need that people find important right now
  2. It has explanatory power, meaning that it explains some phenomena that we see in the world
  3. It can be put into practice to produce replicable results
  4. It can be tested with real-world data to test theoretical ideas
  5. People are ready to hear it!

The thing to keep in mind is that even if your business plan is solid and you’ve got a good plan (good strategy), then you still have to figure out how to execute on the plan. This is where the “Execution” book comes into play. After all, to quote the book: “unless your organization addresses how it expects to attain the results called for in its strategy, it will probably fail.” Now the important thing to remember is in another quote from to book: “many executives view execution as a tactical aspect of their business, something they delegate to others, while they make strategic moves on the corporate chessboard. This is a serious error. Execution must be built into a corporation’s culture. This requires a leader show is deeply committed, thoroughly involved and personally engaged.”