Posts tagged "plan"

5 Things to Never Forget When Pitching to Investors

March 11th, 2019 Posted by Blog Post, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “5 Things to Never Forget When Pitching to Investors”

This month’s post was contributed by Digital Exits, a broker selling online businesses. If you would like to be a guest contributor to this blog, please send your idea for submission to or use our contact form.

We’ve all heard stories about entrepreneurs who started with nothing and worked and worked until they built a large, successful business. In general, these stories are great. They remind us of the value of working hard and never giving up on our dreams.

But these stories also muddle the picture, for at some point in an entrepreneur’s journey, they will need to enlist the help of an investor. It’s that old saying, it takes money to make money.

However, pitching to investors can be both exciting and terrifying.

On the one hand, a successful presentation could be just what you need to turn your dreams into reality. But on the other hand, failing to impress investors could deliver a major blow to your confidence.

This high-risk, high-reward environment makes for great drama, which is why the show Shark Tank is one of the most popular television programs currently airing. But when pitching to investors, you’re not entirely at their mercy.

Remember: they are looking to take risks and make money. Getting someone to buy into your business is less about luck and more about telling them the right information in the right way. In general, this can be easier said than done, but if you make sure to include the following five things in your pitch, then you’re going to put yourself in a much better position for success

#1 Unique Value Proposition

Every business in the world exists to solve a problem. Never forget this.

Ideally, each business would solve a different problem, but there is bound to be some overlap. However, if your business addresses something already being done by someone else, then what do you do that’s different?

Do you offer a cheaper solution? Is it somehow better? More fun? More environmentally friendly?

Whatever it is, you need to make the reason your business exists abundantly clear. If there is any doubt that what you’re doing is unique, then you will most certainly lose the attention of those to whom you are pitching.

This can be done in a variety of different ways. You can tell a story, offer testimonials, ask questions, etc. It doesn’t really matter, as long as investors known within the first few seconds of your presentation why your business exists and what makes it different from anyone else trying to address the same problem.

#2 Proof Your Idea Works

When asking for someone’s money, you better have some proof to back up what you’re claiming. There’s an expression in business that good ideas are worthless.

Of course, this isn’t entirely true—an idea is the foundation of a company—but it gets at the idea that you need to go beyond just thinking about your business.

Spend some time talking about what you’ve already done. This will help show to investors that your UVP is real.

It’s one thing for people to think your idea is good, but it’s quite another for them to open up their wallets and give you money for it.

As a result, you need to have some tangible evidence that people are doing this. Set up a pop-up store, sell at some local markets, open a food truck. What you do doesn’t matter, as long as investors can see there is not only a theoretical market for your idea but also a practical one.

#3 Systems and Processes

Small businesses are notorious for being inefficient. Lack of experience often makes it difficult for new business owners to navigate the market, and this can lead to a lot of waste.

When it’s your own money, this isn’t such a big deal, although you should certainly try to avoid it. However, when you’re taking someone else’s money, this type of approach simply won’t work.

You need to have a plan for how you’re going to spend the money investors give you. But perhaps more importantly, you need to have systems and processes set up to prove you’re not going to waste it.

Part of the reason this is so important is because it makes your business more predictable.

If you ask for $200,000, but you don’t have systems set up for managing payroll, creating content, filling orders, etc., then investors will worry that this money will get lost in the shuffle of running the day-to-day business instead of its growth.

As a result, when pitching, it’s important to give investors a good snapshot of how your business runs. What occurs on a daily basis? And what are you going to do to make sure the money they give you contributes directly to the growth of your business?

Answering these question is critical to the success of your pitch.

#4 Scalability

Never forget that investors are looking to make money. They aren’t offering to help you solely because they want you to achieve your dreams. Instead, they are giving you cash so that you can turn it into more cash.

Because of this, it’s important you highlight in your pitch exactly how you plan to scale your business.

One way to do this is to show what you’ve done to grow in the past, as this will help demonstrate how additional funds could help you grow even further.

Another thing you can do is point to areas of the market you are not exploiting but that you could be if you had some additional money to play with.

For example, maybe there’s an international market that would be great for your product, or maybe there’s a demographic group that you’re not reaching.

No matter what it is, if you can show to investors that you’ve got room to grow and that their money will help you expand to the point where everyone will make money.

# 5 Future Plans

Most investors aren’t interested in giving money to people looking for a quick buck. Instead, they want to invest in companies that are going to grow up into something relatively permanent.

In fact, most investors will want a stake in the company, or at least a percentage of its shares, before giving you money, as this is a great way for them to garner a great ROI.

As a result, it’s important to show investors where you plan to take the company. Of course, everyone knows you want to grow it. But what do you want it to look like? What’s you mission?

This will help show to investors that you’re serious, and this inspires confidence and encourages action.

However, this part should really come towards the end. Make sure investors are clear about what they stand to get before thinking too far in the future.


It’s true that pitching can be a terrifying thing. The fear of rejection is strong in all of us. But if you believe in your idea and in yourself, and if you go in there with a plan, then your chances are good for securing the funding you need to grow your business and turn your dreams into reality.

Addendum – Looking for a Way to Document These Things?

Look no further. You can easily include all 5 of these suggestions and more in the plans you create with Plan Canvas.

You can subscribe directly to the software and use it on your own for $15/month, or contact us at Plan Canvas for assistance. We have hourly rates, monthly retainer rates, and can even help you develop your first cut plans in just a few days for a one-time cost of $1000 (includes 3-month software subscription).

Just What Is Plan Canvas, Strategy Execution Management, And What Does Napoleon Hill Have To Do With It?

February 6th, 2019 Posted by Blog Post, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Just What Is Plan Canvas, Strategy Execution Management, And What Does Napoleon Hill Have To Do With It?”

We are often asked to explain what Plan Canvas is. Quite simply, it is software and consulting as a service to help you develop and execute plans for your business or non-profit.

Develop a plan, execute to the plan. Why should you care? Because doing so doubles your chance of succeeding beyond startup. Because doing so makes it more likely that you will outpace peers and competitors by at least 30%. Because success matters.

So What Is It?

The software stands alone as something to which you can subscribe and use. If consulting services are desired, they come with the software. As such, it is a great tool for the individual user but in the hands of a consultant it can be really powerful.

We recently developed a powerpoint presentation to pitch Plan Canvas to consulting and coaching firms to consider adding it to their toolkit. It does a very good job of explaining Plan Canvas in simple terms. Portions are provided here for your convenience.

What Is The 3rd Mind?

The Plan Canvas Vision And Mission

Tell Me About Plan Canvas

What Is Strategy-to-Execution Management?

What Is Plan Canvas’ Approach To SEM?

What Types Of Plans Can You Build And Track In Plan Canvas?

What Are Some Major Features/Functions Of Plan Canvas?

How Can I Manage Project Portfolios In Plan Canvas?

How Do I Hold Myself And Others Accountable Through Plan Canvas?

How Does Plan Canvas Relate to Think and Grow Rich?

What Are Plan Canvas’ Services?

Who Is Plan Canvas For?

We Hope This Helps

We hope this helps. If you’d like to schedule a demo of Plan Canvas, please contact us through our contacts page by clicking here.

We look forward to serving you.

Doing Nothing is a Choice

May 15th, 2018 Posted by Behavior, Blog Post 0 thoughts on “Doing Nothing is a Choice”

In Business is ART, author and Plan Canvas founder, Jon Umstead tells the story of Larry, a former co-worker who used to say, “If at first you don’t succeed, keep on sucking ‘til you do succeed.”

It was Larry’s way of saying that you shouldn’t be afraid to try again. Take the leap of faith that you have learned from past experience, applied that knowledge, and are now better prepared to go after it, whatever “it” is.

Sometimes, we latch on to an idea and, no matter what, we vow to overcome any obstacle to turn that idea into a reality But often, that idea is just a fleeting moment.

Why is that?

Sometimes it just isn’t all that great an idea

The human brain is a marvel. It’s always functioning at levels we cannot understand until it ceases to function altogether. Ideas, imaginings, and creations are invented inside our heads all the time.

How many times do we hear the story of someone who got rich on one simple idea and say, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

Or worse, “I thought of that 10 years ago. That was my idea!”

A lot of the time, the idea is just not that good to begin with. So, we let it go. Other times, it is a good idea but we still let it go.

How come?

Sometimes there is no legitimate path forward

Plans are developed not only to see the path forward, but also to identify the hurdles and road blocks along the way. You then have to make determinations like how to get over or around them and if it is possible to do so.

The trick is in making logical decisions based on reality, versus emotional decisions based on fear.

I can do this – but should I?

It is perfectly normal and even good to have fear, especially when taking leaps of faith. It is not OK to let that fear paralyze you into inaction.

Have you ever been faced with a decision that felt like a speeding truck was headed directly for you? You have no idea what lies on the left or the right side of the road. Jumping to either means jumping into the unknown. But if you continue to stand there, the truck will probably hit you. Unless it swerves. What if you jump left and the truck swerves in the same direction? What if it brakes and stops just short of hitting you?

What do you do? Maybe the jump will leave you in no better condition than had the truck hit you. Maybe you end up in the same condition you were in before you even noticed the truck barreling at you. Maybe you end up in a condition that is far better than the one you just left.

Rarely is there one right answer for any situation. There are simply choices to be made. Doing nothing is one of them.

If Strategy Execution is a People Problem – Who ARE These People?

April 12th, 2018 Posted by Blog Post, Strategy 0 thoughts on “If Strategy Execution is a People Problem – Who ARE These People?”

A lot of sources say that the problem with strategy execution is a people problem, not a strategy problem. In fact, an article at Harvard Business Review (HBR) is entitled exactly that.

There is a lot of truth to that sentiment, although, as we have discussed in previous blog posts, we believe that a good strategy considers employee engagement (people) and employee engagement is necessary for successful strategy execution. There is no one without the other.

So is execution really a people problem?

Well…could be…isn’t necessarily…lots of other things could go wrong…but could be. Let’s take the case where it is a people problem – then ask a question.

Who are we talking about when we say “people”?

Managers may be apt to say, “They are! Those people out there on the floor are the problem!”

Those on the floor may be apt to say, “They are! Those people over there in the corner offices are the problem!”

The truth is that it may be both, but it always starts at the top.

A recent request from a reporter

A reporter recently asked, “What are 3 things that are really needed for leading a team?” and we submitted the following as a response:

  1. Vision
  2. Purpose
  3. Plan

If permitted, we would have added a 4th – Determination to execute the plan – and a 5th – Flexibility to modify the plan.

Without any of these things, you can hire employees and be in charge, but you can’t lead (big difference) and you especially won’t be leading engaged employees. If you aren’t leading engaged employees, no amount of determination on your end will lead to successful strategy execution.

Why just count on dumb luck? Why not create luck (and outcomes)?

Did you know there is scientific research to suggest that we have an ability to create luck? Doing some of the things discussed in this post are key.

Formulating and communicating a Vision statement, for example. The Vision helps the leader paint the picture for the business or organization. The leader shouldn’t develop the Vision in a vacuum, but has to own it. With a clear Vision (and painted picture), all stakeholders, including employees, can more readily get on board. If they can see it, they can support it. If they can support it, you don’t have to go it alone. If you don’t go it alone, you are more likely to succeed. You create luck.

Having a sense of Purpose beyond the financial aspects of any business or organization is increasingly crucial as the workforce looks more and more to work for companies that can answer the question “Why are we here?” and help the employees answer their own question of “Why am I here?”

Purpose is the emotional hook that gets everyone excited and engaged. For example, our Mission is to provide tools and expertise to help business owners and leaders achieve greater levels of success, but our Purpose is to help people in general feel less overwhelmed and alone.

But you still need a plan. A Vision without a Plan is just daydreaming. A Purpose without a plan is just passion. Both are great for defining where you want to go and why you want to get there, but you need a Plan to serve as the roadmap for the journey.

That Plan cannot reside in the head of the leader. Again, when everyone knows the Plan, it’s easier for everyone to get on board. Duties are more readily delegated. Expectations are more effectively communicated. Everyone knows if what they are doing is moving the organization toward or away from the Vision. You create luck.

Any finally, a Plan without the Determination to execute to it results in chaos

How many times have you developed a plan, perhaps even started executing on it, but then quickly got distracted and just started responding to day-to-day activities rather than executing to any plan.

To really be effective, you have to plan to manage then manage the plan. Even if the plan changes dramatically on a frequent basic due to realities of the day, the act of planning and re-planning helps keep you focused.

That’s what we do

The Plan Canvas process is more than documenting the Vision and Purpose. It’s more than developing plans. It’s tracking results and outcomes, managing the plans, so that you can be more organized and focused, eliminating as much of the chaos as possible.

Contact us to schedule a demo of the software or discuss our consulting services.

If You Know Better Do Better

January 10th, 2018 Posted by Behavior, Blog Post, Goal, Objective 0 thoughts on “If You Know Better Do Better”

We recently heard the story of a hard-working retail cashier, stressed from the holidays, managing to keep her cool in the face of rude customers.

One particularly disrespectful customer reflected on his actions, returned to the store, and fell just short of an apology by saying, “That wasn’t your fault. I know better.”

A genuine apology for his behavior would have been better, and perhaps would not have resulted in this response from the cashier, “If you know better, do better.”

That’s really some great advice for all of us. If we know better, lets do better.

Not another list!

We don’t need to give you yet another list of the things you can be doing better on, be they professional, personal or societal things. There’s no shortage, so pick a few that are most important to you and run with them.

An article at the New York Times entitled How to Do Things Better in 2018 lists and describes 10 things you can focus on (and why), but then goes on to provide links to unique pieces that actually get in to HOW to do better on that particular item.

The article focuses mostly on personal, but also on a few professional areas, such as “How to Build a Successful team.”

Guess what the first step is?

If you guessed, “Make a Plan,” you guessed correctly.

More to the point, the article says, “You need a clear and measurable goal for what you want to accomplish.”

We agree with the intent of that statement, but we are also a little nerdy when it comes to using terminology. You really need clear and measurable OBJECTIVES that support your loftier GOALS. Goals in and of themselves are more of a destination, otherwise, not really measurable beyond “Are we there yet?’

But all nerdiness aside, make a plan and make things measurable. But to that point, make it actionable.

Keep it Simple…Seriously (we object to calling anyone “stupid” so “seriously” is a good substitute)

Meanwhile, Inc. has posted an article entitled 3 Simple Habits I’m Making in 2018 to Drive Better Results. In it, the author’s 3rd simple habit is “Discipline through simplicity,” and, again, we couldn’t agree more.

Plan Canvas is built on the “KISS” model – Keep it Simple, Seriously. So often we just make things too complicated. Take a look at the things you do and ask yourself how you can simplify. Challenge yourself and your team. Make a game of it. There is always a way.

As the new year gets going….

We all know we CAN do better. And as the cashier said, “If you know better, do better.”

That’s the kind of simplicity we can live with.

Did the Plan Fail, or Did You Fail Your People?

June 29th, 2017 Posted by Blog Post, Business Plan, Leadership 0 thoughts on “Did the Plan Fail, or Did You Fail Your People?”

Photo courtesy

You have great people. You have a great product and service. You have a plan, and, man, is it a good one.

And then…crickets! Nothing. Nada. Zilch. What happened? It could be any number of things.

One of them could be you, or more specifically, your leadership. Did you fail your people?

An unscientific experiment

I once conducted an unscientific experiment in a LinkedIn group for leaders. I made it clear, up-front, that in a hypothetical situation, assume that the hypothetical plan was brilliant, but the results were below expectations. I then asked how to influence and improve the team’s behavior in order to get the desired results.

Most of the respondents started with something like, “Obviously the plan was not brilliant…” then went on to talk about how to develop a brilliant plan. Some kindly offered their services to help me get my plan in order – for a fee.

Only one respondent, who identified himself as a retired military general, understood the true question and answered accordingly.

Again, there are many variables, but, often, what it comes down to is leadership.

It’s still a good read

A few years ago I read a book entitled Boundaries for Leaders by Dr. Henry Cloud. The very first chapter is called “The People are the Plan.” It’s a simple concept. A lot of leaders say it (or something like it). A lot of them don’t mean it (or know what it means).

As Dr. Cloud states, there is rarely, if ever, one “right” way to do something. There are usually several “right” ways to do something. Several ways that will/can work, and as the leader, the job is to own the vision, set the path, and get the job done “through people doing what it takes to make it happen.” Whichever “right” way you have selected.

3 pillars of behavior management

We  often talk about how the consumers of today don’t just want a great product or service, they want a great experience. The same is true of employees. If they have a great employment experience, the plan is much more likely to succeed.

In my book, Business is ART, I define 3 areas a leader should focus on in order to drive the kind of team behaviors necessary for accomplishing the goals and objectives set out in the plan. I call these the 3 pillars of behavior management and they are as follows:

  1. Desire – What does the employee or team member desire?
  2. Emotion – What gets the employee or team member to feel a positive emotion about whatever it is you hope to accomplish?
  3. Knowledge – What does the employee or team member know (about the goals, objectives, themselves, other team members…and the leader)

Focus on these 3 pillars ==> Create a great experience ==> Improve the odds of success

Lessons learned – stop talking, start listening, start conversing

April 25th, 2017 Posted by Blog Post, Business is ART 0 thoughts on “Lessons learned – stop talking, start listening, start conversing”

Students of MGT 315 at Urbana University

This past semester, Business is ART was used as the textbook for MGMT 315 – Strategic Management and Leadership, led by Cate Brinnon, assistant business professor at Urbana University in Urbana, Ohio. But it was I who took away several valuable lessons.

Just before the course began, Cate asked if I would be open to sitting in with the class near the end of the semester to listen to their feedback.

For a little over 3 months, I waited anxiously, perhaps a bit nervously, to see how the book would be received by the students. After-all, it was not written as a textbook for classroom purposes.

That day of reckoning finally came last week, and we got so caught up in conversation that we had to schedule a second visit (also last week).

The experience left me both humbled and impressed by an articulate, intelligent group of young people. It was a fantastic experience that I’d repeat any time, over and over again.

Listening is key to learning – and leading

One of the things Cate emphasized to me before I visited her class was that the students are bombarded every day with people that just want to talk to them. They get enough of that. She encouraged me to listen to them. Let them talk.

As Cate stated in a news article that ran in the Urbana Citizen regarding the course, “I believe there have been some revelations with some of what it is [the students] truly wish to do with their lives in the short and long term.”

That was confirmed during my visits

Through the course, several students had in fact figured out exactly what they want to do in the near and long term. At least one student is already actively planning the launch of a business. Others are at least thinking about where they might be headed, perhaps for the first time ever really asking themselves, “Why am I doing this? Why not that?”

Many of the students indicated they most benefitted from going through the exercise of developing a personal vision and roadmap to success. In the book, I call it a “self-assessment.” In the Plan Canvas software (the planning software based on the book), it is referred to as a Personal Plan.

Strategic planning seemed valuable as well, while business plan development was less important at this stage of their careers/lives – except for the student who is launching an actual business and the students who had to develop business plans for a separate course.

When I mentioned the possibility of publishing a second edition of the book – one that is geared more toward students and startups – a student urged me not to make it too much like a textbook.

Don’t talk down to us

She said, “All of our textbooks talk down to us, but your book doesn’t. It has a conversational style.”

What a great complement and something we should all carry forward, not just at work, but in our personal lives as well. Stop talking to. Start listening to. Start conversing with.

Rest assured, these students taught me many great lessons. I’ll share more of them in a subsequent post.

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How to Set Goals and Actually Achieve Them

March 22nd, 2017 Posted by Business is ART 0 thoughts on “How to Set Goals and Actually Achieve Them”

GoalWhen done right, setting goals is a great way to motivate you towards success and track progress. Done poorly, however, and goals become a burden. A list of dreams you’ll never achieve.

That’s why it’s not enough to blindly set goals. You must be strategic about it. You need to be intentional if you want to create goals you can actually achieve.

For starters, you should…

Write Them Down. Make Them Visual.

You probably have some vague idea of your goals in your head. But that’s not enough. You need to write down your goals. Even if you’re a solo operation. Writing them down will not only work as a reminder, but it will help you to analyze them differently.

Something that sounded great in your head might not make sense once you see it written out. Or it may inspire another idea. If it helps, you can try creating a visual to track your goals – perhaps display an image to serve as a reminder of a goal you’ve set.

Whatever it takes to keep your goals in mind.

Break Goals Up. Start Small.

When setting goals, you should write them down in their most basic forms. A sentence, no more. Goals are rarely accomplished in one fell-swoop. Instead, it takes many smaller actions and achievements that lead up to the big end-goals – these are measurable objectives.

Start with the small, simple action steps. If you can’t achieve those first, you’ll never achieve your larger goals.

Focus on What You Can Do and Control

Entrepreneurs sometimes get hung up on what they can’t control. If you sell a product, you can’t force someone to buy it. But you can make sure that product is perfected. You can create excellent marketing material for it. You can reach out to marketplaces and publications to see if they will feature it.

When planning your goals, don’t set action steps that you can’t actually do. Instead, focus on the areas over which you have control. Save those things outside of your control for developing a risk mitigation plan.

Establish Rewards

Everyone loves to be rewarded. It’s a simple fact. In sports, the players always have the trophy or medal to chase. While you’re obviously going after success, “success” is a very vague, shapeless word. You have to define what it means for you. Then to better motivate yourself to achieve success (as you define it), try implementing rewards into your goal setting.

They don’t have to be anything complex. You’ll be surprised by just how motivating a little reward can be, whether it’s for you or your employees.

Be Prepared for Change

Life changes. Market places change. Yet, some have this idea that goals should never change. Maybe the overarching plan stays the same, but the smaller goals need to change along the way sometimes.

Look at a company like Facebook. When they started, they allowed American college students to see each other’s pictures and leave funny comments. Now, they provide news, social-platforms, marketplaces, digital communities, and more to people of all ages around the world.

Their overarching goal of connecting people has remained the same, but you can bet the focus of their smaller goals has changed dramatically.

Don’t stick with the same, stagnant goals over and over again. Be flexible.

But Always Remember the Reason

Even as you change and strive towards success, don’t forget the reason you started on your path in the first place. That’s going to be different for everyone, but it’s equally important for all. One of the most fundamental basic business principles is to simply remember your purpose.

Your goals will help you fulfill that purpose. Set them accordingly.

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Do Have Actionable Plans – Don’t Waste Your Time with Plans

March 16th, 2017 Posted by Business is ART 0 thoughts on “Do Have Actionable Plans – Don’t Waste Your Time with Plans”

Slide1I really wanted to simply call this “Don’t Waste Your Time with Plans” but was afraid you’d get the wrong idea.

I don’t mean “Don’t develop plans.” I mean, if you are going to develop and manage plans, do it in a productive manner.

You can do better…like by a lot

One of the reasons I think so many business owners and leaders don’t have business plans is that someone gave them some bad advice, or set a bad example, somewhere along the way…and now they just can’t see the value – even though the data supports the notion that business plans increase your odds of success – like by a lot.

But one sure way to waste your time with a plan is to fail to do the foundational work that becomes a litmus test for everything you do going forward.

Build a foundation

Before you spend any time developing a plan, first build the foundation for your business. What’s the foundation consist of? Simple. 3 key ingredients, including:

  1. Your Vision Statement. This is how you see things, ideally, out in to the future. See Amazon’s vision statement for a good example.
  2. Your Mission Statement. This states in simple terms what you do. A sentence. Two at most. What you do.
  3. Your Purpose Statement. This is why you do what you do. The emotional hook that gets you and your stakeholders excited.

Many people struggle with defining these three statements. At first, it sounds easy. But then you realize it really requires some deep, critical thinking and often requires a lot of inner reflection. It may also require a lot of discussion with your friends, family and advisors.

But a key to remember…these are yours. No one else’s. Don’t let anyone define them for you.

Frame It

Next, build the frame. The frame is made up of your long term goals and objectives. Goals support the vision, but in and of themselves are immeasurable. They are simply big lofty things you want to achieve.

Muhammad Ali famously declared “I am the greatest!”

That’s a perfect example of a goal. How do you know you are the greatest? Through measurable objectives like: winning the title a number of times, holding the title a number of years, scoring a number of knock-outs by a certain round in each fight (on average).

You have to do the same for your business. Define the measurable objectives that support your big lofty goals.

Now Get Busy

Once you have laid the foundation and the frame, you are ready to get down to some serious business planning and you are far less likely to waste your time.

One last bit of advice – make your plans actionable. That means, define actual initiatives and action steps you will take to tackle your plan. Track and update things as you go. Plan to manage, but manage the plan.

Don’t stop game planning when the game begins

I hate it when people say they only need to develop a plan once, then they get the loan or start the business and throw the plan away. That is a way to ensure you do not maximize the benefits of planning.

Think of it this way. A football coach walks in to a game with a game plan. With the first snap of the ball, the coaching staff makes adjustments to the game plan, and continues to do so throughout the game, until the last second ticks off the clock.

We wouldn’t think of coaching a game any other way. So why do we think it’s a good idea to start a business with a plan, then toss it aside on opening day – or ever?

As with sports, keep adjusting the plan until the day you shut the doors for good.

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When It’s Time to Go Float on a Boat

November 10th, 2016 Posted by Entrepreneur, Leadership 0 thoughts on “When It’s Time to Go Float on a Boat”

boatWhether you plan to float on that boat for real or float in that big old boat in the sky, something that every business owner and organizational leader must consider is that there will come a day that you vacate your seat or the business.

People often think about what their life will be like on the day after, but what about the businesses and employees they leave behind? What will things look like for them?

Succession Planning

Enter succession planning. Within an organization, succession planning means identifying and preparing candidates to take over leadership positions at every level.

But for privately owned and small business, succession planning means planning for what becomes of the business when the owner(s) exit.

Stepping Away from Ownership

When the owner decides it’s time to step away, there are several options, including but not necessarily limited to:

  • Shut down the business
  • Sell the business
  • Gift the business to family
  • Gift the business to employees
  • Gift the business to charitable or non-profit organization

Know the Advantages and Ramifications

There are advantages and ramifications to each option so the best advice I can give on the topic is this:

  1. Have an organizational succession plan
  2. Seek the guidance of your accountant and your attorney, then…
  3. Develop a business succession plan
  4. Go back to your attorney and document it from an indisputable legal perspective, just in case something bad happens to you before you’re ready to float on a boat…
  5. Then…when the time is right…go float on that boat

Listen to the Podcast

On the Business is ART podcast dated November 1, 2016 and entitled “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” we talked about business ownership succession planning. You can listen to it in its entirety by clicking here.

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