A few days ago we posted on LInkedIn a question "How to influence small business owners to start planning their business?" We received very interesting answers from both business consulting professionals and small business owners that we'd like to share with you.
answer from Dave Phillipson, CP, CEO Space, The World's Largest, Oldest & Most Successful Organization for CEOs, Entrepreneurs & Visionary Investors
Some are disorganized, but even still, it comes down to education.
There is a very strong percentage of our membership from the top business schools in the world.... MBAs from Harvard, Wharton, Thunderbird, MIT, Stanford, London, Marshall, Mendoza, Northwestern, etc.
Every single one of them (and some of them are in very high-powered companies) states that what they learn at our place is far more than they learn in their entire time at B-School. I say this not as boasting, I'm saying it because they're being sent out with only management experience. They don't have Leadership or Action-ability.
The only mentoring they are getting is typically from academia, and from text books that take two years to research & publish and another while to distribute. That doesn't fly in these times, when change happens in an instant. By the time an MBA candidate graduates, they are working with information that is 2-6 years out of date.
Even Michael Gerber is having a challenge in what he's wanting to do.
When I spoke to him in July, he was at a loss as to where to go. When I mentioned we were a likely place that could help him, he already knew it.
Entrepreneurs don't realize that there is a difference between working IN their business, and working ON their business. They also don't know "The Language of Capital" and how to raise capital so they can hire the expertise that they need. This causes them to try and do everything themselves, which can never work. Anyone who has tried to do multiple things, knows they can only be extremely successful at one at a moment. If they are not good at those other things, or don't like them, that fares even worse for the outcome.
answer from Greg Reeves,Owner, Artisan Photography
I see a lot of different reasons.
1) There is no pain associated with the lack of a business plan, though there is obvious, immediate pain if you don't order supplies, prepare quotes, etc.
2) Michael Gerber's E-Myth book sums it up quite well, most small business owners are "Technicians", they love the work, not the business around the work.
3) Most of this is done informally, the process, the planning, the "kitchen table" discussions are being held, just not documented and not as forward looking.
4) The corollary to #1, there's no clear ROI path.
5) Change. Some industries are in such a constant state of flux, even a three year plan would seem foolish.