Tuesday, 5 June 2018

How to Write a Brilliant Business Plan

Welcome to this very special and highly exclusive, virtual, digital and ethereal occasion.

My name is Ego Must and this presentation is your once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to save the world through your brilliant business plan.

As you may have noticed, I exude success, and sometimes even excess.

The scheduling of this event officially began an hour ago.

Keeping essential secrets as secret as practicable is important in relation to every business, every business idea, and every plan.

If your plans fail to include realistic schedules, they are unlikely to be brilliant.

Saving the world is an important job for every business to do in the 21st century.

The planning for my presentation officially began properly about an hour and a half ago.

Plans should always begin before schedules are established.

And every plan should contain an element of surprise.

Most people are likely to be surprised that I am here, at least when the word gets out into the wider world.  I was expected elsewhere today but I managed to send someone else in my place.

Do you have a good team around you?

Will people be disappointed if one of its members turns up somewhere when you were expected instead?

Every brilliant plan is not only realistic but unusual.

Boring plans and boring questions have much in common.

Too many people think they can run publishing companies just because they love reading.  They fail to question their own business abilities adequately.

Too many people think they can be famous actors just because they love being the centre of attention.  Have you auditioned here yet?

Too many people think they can run restaurants just because they love food.  They fail to understand that catering is one of the performance arts.

Too many people think they can be great doctors just because they were good at science in school.  Success in academic examinations has nothing to do with healing the world in practice.

Too many people think they can be successful lawyers just because they have an aggressive approach to winning arguments.  Although aggressive lawyers make a considerable amount of money for themselves, and sometimes even for their clients, they do nothing to solve the most pressing problems in the world.

Who, in fact, is working for profit to save the world at present?

Too many people think they can have lucrative careers in finance just by fleecing the public.  That is the most common route to fortune for psychopaths.  Their less fortunate but equally common route is the one leading to prison.

Quite a few leading psychopaths end up in political careers, possibly before ending up in prison.

None of the above persons necessarily have plans.  They merely have egos to feed through selling ego-driven books of short-term popularity, dressing for success and acting the part, dining in expensive restaurants of short-term popularity, doctoring their accounts and using aggressive lawyers to intimidate opponents.

Do you have a world-leading brand or a world-saving one?

Do you have a world-leading plan and/or a world-saving one?

A plan is supposed to be about the future, not the present.  Whatever you like to do now is not necessarily the same as the activities you will enjoy in a few months from now.  Things change.  Unexpected problems arise.  New opportunities present themselves.

The management team supporting me today initially gathered over lunch at a new restaurant, about five hours ago, to discuss changes, challenges and opportunities.

Everyone needs a supportive management team, in all aspects of life. 

Have you ever tried working from home?

Have you ever tried working from restaurants?

Have you ever tried working from libraries?

Have you ever tried working from theatres?

Many non-brilliant plans involve gambling with real estate, including the bits of real estate in which home-based businesses are run.

A successful home-based business needs a management team just as much as one based in several large office blocks and foreign factories.

My regular management team includes my health care practitioners, my family and close friends, my telecommunications providers, my local council, state and federal governments, and quite a few international non-government organisations.

Who do you consult about your plans, and why?

Who intends to help you save the world, and who does not?

Who intends to help you reach another world if they one is beyond saving?

The script for this presentation began to be written about two hours ago.

I was not involved in that process directly.

I have a busy schedule every day, officially and unofficially, and I also like to rest after lunch, ready for my international activities later in the day.

Do you have an international career?

Do you have an interplanetary career?

Are you aware that a brilliant business plan is meant to include a few enlightening reviews and exciting previews?

Inequality is at the heart of many international careers and businesses, as has always been the case.  Yet saving the world is meant to reduce inequality and prevent environmental disasters.

Although it is necessary to acknowledge that there are varying talents and varying promotional opportunities and varying educational attainments and varying interpersonal qualities to consider when assessing career options and business opportunities, a brilliant business plan will take all those matters into suitable consideration.

There are geographical and climatological matters to consider in any business planning, regardless of the locations in which the operations and customers are situated.

Will you be delegating your business promotion to an outside organisation, and even to your customers?

Knowing how to delegate is essential in business, just as it is in a busy household.

I usually delegate promotional activities to the mass media and social media.  Doing that certainly helps to reduce business overheads.

How much time and money do you put towards your marketing strategy?

How could a more creative, less time-consuming and less expensive approach assist you?

If you were called upon to give a presentation on how to write a brilliant business plan, who would you call upon to draft your speech, and how much would you realistically be able to pay that person for an hour of work?

The stage manager initially wrote a few notes for me, over in the prompt corner.

The production manager rewrote the notes soon afterwards, over in the library.

A good stage manager knows how to delegate, especially in relation to stage-managed events.

The main thing anyone needs to remember when writing a speech about writing a brilliant business plan, as well as when actually writing brilliant business plans, is that even a stage-managed event should look, sound, smell and feel natural, relaxed and believable.

Anything planned is stage-managed to some extent.

But how will you know that the implementation of a plan will be productive?

How will you measure success?

What are you attempting to achieve, and why are you seeking to attempt that feat?

All the library staff and volunteers thought my presentation should take place as a library event, not a theatrical occasion.  Apparently, they are fans of mine.  They have all read my best-selling books about running brilliant businesses, none of which are available in the enlightened library of Villa Twaklinilkawt.

Business books are written mainly for short-term entertainment purposes.  Most belong in the fantasy fiction genre.  They are written for egos, not business leaders seeking to save the world.

The production manager of this ethereal theatre went to the enlightened library for research purposes, as any good manager tends to do before important decisions are to be made.

Asking the opinions of librarians often provides an accurate indication of public sentiments in relation to all sorts of ideas and possibilities.  Librarians have much experience in dealing with confused members of the public.  A senior librarian has considerable expertise in understanding the public interest and the interests of members of the public.

The senior librarians have asked to be part of the management teams for every launch of every brilliant business plan arising from my presentation, regardless of the selected venues or the business leaders involved.  Will you oblige them?  Are you aware of the fees they charge for their time?

The librarians and volunteers were disappointed and somewhat annoyed they had not been invited to the lunch today, though any successful business person knows the difference between admirers and the admirable.

When selecting advisers, it pays to pay attention to that distinction.

Never appoint sycophants.

The job ahead of you is to save the world, not seek adulation.

There has been much discussion here, over the past hour, about the use of automation for this presentation.  People and technology both tend to be unreliable when conditions are less than optimal.

Knowing whether conditions are optimal or not is important in any decision-making process.

Yet business plans are not about making decisions.  They are about exploring possibilities, identifying probabilities and assessing conditions.

The house manager hopes everything will go to plan during the remainder of this presentation.  The theatrical aspects of this event involve a considerable amount of blocking.

This is, after all, a highly stage-managed, high art media event.

Are you here as a member of the media?

The highly experienced event manager is also the chief publicist for this highly serious, highly exclusive presentation, which is why so few members of the mass media have actually been invited along.

The most vocal members of the public relations industry, and the most extroverted marketing professionals, have expressed concerns about the future of quality journalism but not necessarily about the future of the world.  Yet both pursuits must be intertwined in every business plan.

What will your business most support in the future, and why?

How will you launch your brilliant business plan?

How did you approach the launch of The Prompt Book for World Peace?

Every good business plan contains considerable information from and about relevant third parties.

An essential part of any business plan also involves recognition of key players in third party organisations.  Those third party players should be treated as part of the extended, unofficial management team for your business, even when not invited to lunch.

But do you usually consider management activities to be exclusive experiences - partly if not wholly?

Do you pay adequate attention to political matters in relation to good business management?

The notes I am meant to be following here are the ones produced through the collaborations, over the past few hours, of the stage manager, the production manager, the house manager, the theatre manager, the event manager and the senior librarians.  The artistic director is not here to assist me at present.

But why are you here?

As always, the final decision on my performance today is my own.  It is something I stipulate in every contract.  That is why I am currently ad libbing.

I never rely entirely on third parties for anything.  I always make sure I know what they are doing on my behalf.

If I do not understand something, I ask questions.

If anyone gives me a garbled answer, I work my way up the hierarchy, or delegate someone to do that on my behalf.  If I am not satisfied with the responses, I find the answers elsewhere.

Straight talking is necessary in any business situation.  Never allow anyone to hide behind jargon or delays.

Whenever I pay someone for a service or an item, I consider the relationship to be a business transaction.  Even my health service providers know I consider their interactions with me to be business-to-business.  I am, after all, the greatest asset of my business and I must look after myself for the sake of my employees, shareholders and customers.

Maintaining a distinction between personal matters and business matters is essential when writing a brilliant business plan.  The only personal matters in my life are the ones not involving money.

I expect third parties to give me independent, trustworthy advice and assistance.

I expect first parties to do the same.  They are my closest family and friends.

I expect second parties to be the best they can possibly be.  They are my employees.

Shareholders are third parties.  Suppliers are third parties.  Customers are third parties.

What are the characteristics of the target audience for your business?

Are you mainly interested in attracting finance to fund your business ideas or are you mainly interested in meeting the needs of an eager, paying public?

Most business plans are written to attract finance, not customers.  That is their main failing.

You may not yet see yourself as a customer of my business, though that is likely to change once you realise that I expect to receive, into perpetuity, 10% of the increase in net profit you are likely to achieve after taking my advice here today.

How do you usually place value on information?

How do you usually place value on money?

How do you usually place value on investors?

How do you usually place value on customers, employees, suppliers, and yourself?

There are many ego-driven information suppliers and money suppliers out there, most of whom are not real investors.

Ego-driven money suppliers gamble with other people's money, with no real loss to themselves.  They are untrustworthy third parties.

They may tell you they are giving you loans when, in fact, they are mainly giving themselves bonuses.  Real investors want your business to succeed.  Fake investors do not care whether you succeed or fail.

If you know how to tell the difference between real investors and fake investors, you will be well on your way to saving the world.

I am here today to give a presentation to people who want to know what I have to say about how to write brilliant business plans.  Most of what I am saying has derived from third parties.  I expect people to pay good money to hear about my original ideas, as you already know.

How do you value your originality?

If you do not have any originality, how do you expect to make a good living as a business person?

Every target audience is exclusive in some way.  It has its own originality whenever one generation is replaced with another. 

Just as there are many people with no interest in running businesses, there are also many people running businesses with no real interest in running successful ones.  They are not my audience.  They have no capacity to be enlightened leaders.  They have no capacity to make saving the world into a viable, long-term business venture.

I consider my audiences, and my customers, to be early adopters and independent testers.  There may be quite a few innovators amongst them.  Yet innovation is only worthwhile in business when there is a market for it.

A mistake often made in business, and in government, is to consider cost cutting measures to be innovations.  They are nothing of the sort.  They are merely cost cutting measures.

Cutting costs often means cutting quality.

Unless your customers want to buy something shoddy, then it is best to avoid misguided budget measures.

If your suppliers treat you with disrespect, they treat your customers with disrespect.  It is then time to find new suppliers.

A brilliant business plan is all about quality.  It is about the standards to be achieved and maintained.  It is about the extravagances to be avoided and the wastefulness to avert. It is about the practical expression of values, through measurement.

The two most important measures are:

1. Net profit

2. Employee turnover

It may seem like a good idea, in the short term, to focus on increasing net profits, but that should never take the place of improving quality.  Only with high standards, in every aspect of an enterprise, can quality be maintained and improved.

Saving the world is a quality pursuit.

It is also best to avoid a focus on inventory turnover if you sell products.

Many people fail in business because they love buying stuff.  They forget that most people are not as keen as themselves in that pursuit.

Most people prefer to pay for quality, not stuff, at least if they can afford to do so.

Most people have other things they would rather do with their time than spending their own money, even if they do not work in the finance industry.

It would be wise never to employ a shopaholic on your marketing team.  Such people are not to be trusted.  They tend to enjoy spending anyone's money.

And never trust third-party marketing techniques.  They are fake.

Your credibility is one of your greatest business assets.

Customers should be able to decide for themselves whether to accept your business credential or not.  Though they may expect to pay through third-party billing services, intelligent customers are wary of mercenary intermediaries.

Will your business primarily attract intelligent customers or not?

Writing a brilliant business plan will help you to attract intelligent customers.  Those persons are likely to have money saved for the sorts of experiences you seek to sell to them.  They are already likely to be involved in saving the world and they are willing to pay for the products and services enabling them to do so.

There know there are many rogues in the business world.  They know that the same sorts of roguish characters probably simultaneously inhabit the criminal underworld.  They know it pays to avoid them, and never to pay them anything.

Yet intelligent customers know there is much corruption in the political world.  That is why there are rogues in the business world.  It is also why a criminal underworld continues to flourish.

Your brilliant business plan is likely to include contingency plans for all sorts of third-party management possibilities.  This is an essential part of managing risks.

If you are unwilling to manage risks wisely, you will be unable to direct and manage a business properly.  You will also be unlikely to make a sufficient contribution to saving the world.

If you are willing to risk the money invested by third parties in your business, why should anyone invest in your risky venture?

If you are willing to risk the emotional, temporal and financial investment made in you by first parties, why should they keep supporting you?

If you are willing to risk the health status and career plans of second parties, why should they not go and work for your competitors?

If you have not had much experience in the administration of businesses, to whom will you delegate those tasks?

How will you pay for that person or those people to do the work?

Success is often built on previous successes.  If you have not previously had much success in life, that is unlikely to occur now.  It will take time and effort instead.

Are you willing to give the time and make the effort to be realistic?

Do you believe saving the world is possible or just a speculative narrative in a fantasy?

You already know something about the planning that went into my presentation today.  You may not know about the years of experience behind those plans, involving each of the people involved.

I chose to include reputable, third-party sources in planning this presentation order to compare their points of view with my own.

How do you usually ascertain whether a third party is reputable?

How do you usually use your critical thinking skills in relation to the operation of a business?

Does your business require third party access to one or more natural monopolies?

Do you want your business to run natural monopolies?

When a business has no competition, or an ineffectual one, it is not a reputable business at all.  It is an authoritarian regime.

Do you intend running your business as though it is a dictatorship?

If so, why would anyone choose to buy from you?

Some of your best customers could possibly also be your best investors, and your best employees.  It pays to keep them happy.

No good employee wishes to work under the unreasonable directions of a dictator.

Investors do not wish to support dictators either, primarily because all dictators are unreasonable.

Your investors are in it mainly for themselves.  They may also possibly be in it for the world, at least if they are ethical.

But what do your customers want from you?

What do you believe to be the main characteristics of a good customer for your business?

Your brilliant business plan should contain a great deal of non-private information about your customer base.

How do you prevent customer attrition?

How do you encourage a competitor's customers to switch to you?

What measures do you take to stop your customers from switching?

How will you encourage current non-customers to buy from you?

How do you usually work with your customers to increase your revenue and retain good employees?

How do you usually manage cash flow?

How could you improve your working relationship with customers, and with employees and investors?

How could you improve the reliability of your cash flow?

How could you improve the economic value you acquire through the use of your assets?

How do you include your employees in the preparation of your business plans, and your presentations in relation to those plans?

The non-secret aspects of any plan should always involve as many relevant persons as possible in the process.  Successful plans begin with respectful consultations and insightful deliberations.

Anyone likely to be involved in implementing the plan should be invited to be involved in developing it.  That is one of the best ways to avoid problems.

Yet that does not necessarily lead to a brilliant business plan on its own.  This is especially the case when innovative products and services are to be supplied.

Who is willing to pay for artistry?

How does that art fit into the plan?

How does the plan fit with the art?

What is the reputation of the artist?

How important is the design of products and/or services and procedures in relation to your business plan and its implementation?

A project is not a business, no matter how well it is managed.

Similarly, a design is not a business unless it is a design for a proprietary business model.

Do you own your own business model through intellectual property rights?

Do you own the rights to use a particular design for a product or service within your business?

How do you combine artistic freedom with strategic management?

How do you distinguish between artistic freedom and a dictatorial mentality?

Who will own the artistic licence within your brilliant business plan?

How will you ensure no-one mistakes your business plan for a scam?

What do you hope the art of your business plan will reveal about your intentions?

What is your interpretation of brilliance from a business point of view?

Will anyone consider you to be a business genius?

There have been many people with brilliant ideas but no business sense.

They do not fully understand the factors of production.

They do not fully understand corporate finance.

Yet there are also many people in business, and in politics, who do not fully understand the nature of innovation.

What is the intended capital structure of your future business plan?

If your current business is in urgent need of a brilliant, new plan, what is the current market value of your business and how have you reached that conclusion?

What are you doing about estate planning in relation to your business, and how will that be incorporated in your future business plan?

How will your plans change if you or any of your essential employees become ill or otherwise incapacitate?

How will your plans support the private lives of your workers, and yourself?

How will your plans support the wider community in which your business operates?

You are probably here because you have heard something about my reputation as a business leader.

In this presentation today, I have invited you to think about how you can improve the brilliance of your business plan, as you write it.  That does not necessarily equate with its brilliant implementation.

What is your understanding of managerial finance?

What do you understand of the possible consequences of borrowing funds?

What have been your previous experiences of financial distress in your business life and in your private life?

How will you avoid that distress through your future business activities?

How will your future business activities convey the harmonious interplay of beauty, understanding and magnificence?

How will you control your business?

How will you prevent the dangerous election of Tabarin from ruining your business?

How will you prevent a bank or a tax office from ruining your business?

How will you prevent history from catching up with any less-than-worthy prior business dealings you may have had?

Well, I am due elsewhere in half an hour so I must go now.

If you have any questions, please speak to the librarians.