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Entries in business plan (9)


Three rules to stress test your great idea

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Someone is already doing it.

Annoying but true. Whenever you come up with a truly great idea, it’s a 99% certainty that someone, somewhere got there before you.

Good ideas get around pretty quickly these days. At the same time, it’s easy to research them. Even a modest internet search will unearth something similar in a few minutes.

There are three reasons why this is good news.

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What you are thinking is not what will happen

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The problems with planning.

Do businesses turn out exactly like the business plan? None of mine did. Even my most sophisticated spreadsheets never produced anything like the numbers I forecast. Personal plans were not much different.

Some have gone worse, some have gone better, but none mirrored the profile I had so carefully constructed. The late John Lennon was not far off the mark: “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.”

Does that mean planning is a wasted exercise?

I don’t know whether Lennon lived by that quote or was just making an observation.

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Make sustainability pay

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Real changes don’t just sound good.

Unsustainable green initiatives make no sense. To be embedded in a business model, they need to impact on two things: cost and volume. Either they save money, or they produce more by using less.

It sounds simple, but sustainability is a tricky subject at any level.

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How to maintain business passion

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Your great idea and the three stages of love

You have a brilliant idea. Your boss will love it and you can already see your career growing on the back of it. Or maybe it’s an inspired concept for a new start-up. It’s the one that will launch your entrepreneurial dream.

This is love at first sight. You speak about it in those terms. It’s an expression of you; an extension of yourself. This perfect mate will help you manifest your real desires by creating something special.

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Inquisition versus Acquisition

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The case for window shopping.

Mergers and acquisitions are exciting stuff. This is the sexy end of the growth equation. It’s all about structures and strategies, and trying to rearrange the mix so that one plus one equals three. If you like strategic board games, you’ll love this.

Sadly, in the real world one plus one usually equals only one – or less. The history of M&A is atrocious and the list of casualties grows each year. Why is that?

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