There are those who will question why you would venture to start, expand or optimize a business in today's economy. Many will prefer to hunker down and stay status quo in the downturn hoping to survive on cash flow alone.

For those who embrace the challenge of today and consider this an opportunity to improve for tomorrow but wonder where to start? Here are my humble thoughts.

Planning and analysis is your friend and key to all forward success, as the old cliche states "plan today so you are ready for tomorrow".

As we are all aware economies cycle. Catch your breath during this slow time to make a change now while you have time for thought and proper implementation. In prior years, did we want to be better prepared, spend conservatively, run economics prior to our decisions? You bet, but we were just too darn busy so we made them based on emotion or preference in many situations. Did this work? Sometimes yes and sometimes no.

I have an acquaintance and fellow business investor who manages a good sized company, upon seeing a solid business plan for potential investment, he reflected that he wished he would have done the same thing for a new division they started. "It would have saved me wasting a million dollars" was his comment.

Mike Tyson once said "everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face" one has to question, did he actually have a plan or was it just a desire to go there and win. Could he have used some scenario planning, planned some contingencies? Analyzed his opponent and chances of success? Adjusted his strategy?

What do you want your business to look like in 1 year, 2 years, 5 and 10 years from now? How will you distinguish yourself from your competition? What opportunity or strategy will be successful? What capabilities will you need to get there?

Planning and analysis

  • Planning for smart growth
  • Planning for what capabilities you will need within your business
  • Planning multiple scenarios and strategies to adapt to changing conditions good or bad
  • Plan for opportunity management, how to compare opportunities based on complexity and economics
  • Plan to perform maintenance, turnarounds and other significant events affecting production lines while times are slow so you don't have to when times are good
  • Analysis of start up or expansion economics
  • Analysis of start up or expansion requirements
  • Analysis of market opportunities and barriers to entry
  • Analysis of costs

When you match passion and enthusiasm with a solid plan backed by careful analysis you can make a positive economic change. As Mark Twain stated “The secret of getting ahead is getting started”

We did!