The E Plan Essay

1562 words - 6 pages

The E-Plan: Your Business Plan PresentationBusiness commentators are divided on the ability to effectively plan in the new economy. Some opine that the pace of change is so rapid that it is impossible to plan for the future. Successful companies during this competitive era are preparing clear, flexible business plans that develop their vision of their intended destination. Planning is necessary to develop your vision, but it needs to be flexible. As a result, I am advocating a variation of the traditional business plan that I call the "e-plan."The e-plan helps you capture your vision while providing a flexible platform for responding to the inevitable changes and shifts in the economy. The new economy is no place for the 100-page business plan that flushes out every conceivable detail. This exercise is not about earning a gold star on your business plan from a difficult teacher or some picky banker. Rather, it is about capturing your vision in a flexible format that facilitates the execution of your business model -- that is the essence of the e-plan.Enter The E-PlanExtensive business plan were often aimed at traditional lenders who wanted to be sure that no stone was left unturned. Chances are that in today's economy, many of the old stones will disappear and be replaced by new ones by the time a conventional business plan is finished.I was never a fan of the business plan treatise. Supplementary information, such as product circulars and marketing materials, can be included in an appendix, but the narrative part of the plan should be a maximum of 20 pages. The object is not to unearth every conceivable detail but to think through your business model. Few plans are read in their entirety by potential investors, and the new economy requires an even more concise way of formulating a business model.This new format -- the e-plan -- is designed to help all the users of the business plan, which includes the entrepreneur as well as potential investors and employees. It is streamlined both for speed of digestion and ease of use.The e-plan consists of an executive summary and approximately a dozen PowerPoint slides. Each slide addresses an important component of your business model. I consider the e-plan to be more of a compass than a map. It is designed to guide you in the right direction but is flexible enough to accommodate shifts and changes in the marketplace. As these changes occur, the e-plan can be used to produce a corresponding shift in strategy.Some of the advantages of the e-plan format are its overview, flexibility, and presentation.Overview. The executive summary and the slide format provide a quick overview of all important components of your business model and provide a comprehensive understanding of the model. The e- plan serves as a ready reference for the big picture.Flexibility. The slide format provides you with the ability to change directions quickly. As changes occur in the marketplace, your big picture can be changed...

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