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Recommended reading

For entrepreneurs

In the recent 2020 Edition of DON’T DO IT THE HARD WAY, I included my updated list of recommended references and books for entrepreneurs, to manage themselves and their businesses better. (See Part 6. Page 231)

The full list is available at below:

In order to help you be better as an entrepreneur, leader, manager and human being, I recommend the following authors for more ideas, information and inspiration. In my opinion, they are among the best at providing thoughtful insights and powerful advice.

I recommend that you make time for them in your process of continuous learning and improvement. Make your own selection from the list below, then find them online, follow them and read their work.

Management Gurus with advice for entrepreneurs

Here are some of their good books and a few memorable quotes:

Tom Peters

In Search of EXCELLENCE, 1982

“There is no more important trait among excellent companies than an action orientation. ... if you've got a major problem, bring the right people together and expect them to solve it.  They do, somehow, have the time." 

"Excellent companies are a vast network of informal, open communications. Forget the MBA - Masters in Business Administration – and remember the MBWA – Management By Walking Around."

Thriving on Chaos, 1987

"A well-handled problem usually breeds more customer loyalty than you had before the negative incident."

“Measure! And reward on the basis of the measures."

Henry Mintzberg

SIMPLY MANAGING, 2013

“Leadership has pushed management off the map…. Now we are overled and undermanaged.”

“Strategies are not immaculately conceived in detached offices. They are learned through tangible experiences.”    

Harvey Mackay

SWIM WITH THE SHARKS without Being Eaten Alive, 1988

"A goal is a dream with a deadline. Write it down" 

"Dig your well before you're thirsty"

"You'll always get the good news; it’s how quickly you get the bad news that really counts."

BEWARE THE NAKED MAN WHO OFFERS YOU HIS SHIRT, 1990

"Do what you love, love what you do and deliver more than you promise."

"You're a lot better off being scared than being bored."

Jim Collins

Built to Last, 1994

"Visionary companies almost religiously preserve their core ideology. Yet, they display a powerful drive for progress that enables them to adapt and change without compromising their cherished core ideals."

"Good enough never is. For these companies the critical question is – How can we do better tomorrow than we did today?"

From Good to Great, 2001

“Good is the enemy of great.”

“Confront the brutal facts, yet never lose faith.”

Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman

First, Break all the Rules, 1999

The one insight that we heard echoed by tens of thousands of great managers: People don't change that much. Don't waste time trying to put in what was left out. Try to draw out what was left in. That is hard enough."

Seth Godin

The Bootstrapper's Bible, 2004

"In advertising... persistence is the secret to success."

"In choosing partners remember: Ringo was the luckiest Beatle... a mediocre drummer riding on the backs of three musical geniuses."

Guy Kawasaki

The ART of the START, 2004

"Build a business to make meaning (the money will follow).”

“Have a mantra, not a mission statement.”

“Advertising is what you say about yourself, PR is what other people say about you. PR is better.” 

For some alternative points of view:

Michael Gerber
The E-Myth

Gerber claims he originated the cliché: Work on your business, not in your business. But his over-worked theme is a useful reminder to develop your business organisation and processes so that it can run without you in it every day.

Bo Burlingham
Small Giants

An interesting study of small eccentric companies that decided to succeed by staying small. The conclusions are a stretch to fit the hypothesis that small is better, but worth reading to remember to build your business for yourself; not to chase some dream of global grandeur.

And from an entrepreneur of two hundred and fifty years ago: Benjamin Franklin

Perhaps best known as an American statesman and scientist, (he signed the Declaration of Independence, flew a kite in a lightning storm and has his picture on the U.S. $100 bill), Ben Franklin was also a very successful entrepreneur. A printer by trade, he launched several businesses and introduced the concept of franchising to his printing shops. He was successful enough to retire at age forty-two.

He was also a prolific writer and intelligent observer, analyst and commentator on business and life. It is worth considering Ben Franklin's 12 Rules of Management by Blaine McCormick, 2000.

In summary:

  1. Finish better than your beginnings.
  2. All education is self-education.
  3. Seek first to manage yourself, then to manage others.
  4. Influence is more important than victory.
  5. Work hard and watch your costs.
  6. Everybody wants to appear reasonable.
  7. Create your own set of values to guide your actions.
  8. Incentive is everything.
  9. Create solutions for seemingly impossible problems.
  10. Become a revolutionary for experimentation and change.
  11. Sometimes it's better to do 1001 small things right rather than only one large thing right.
  12. Deliberately cultivate your reputation and legacy.

More Reading for your personal management issues:

To do better in life and manage yourself past the entrepreneurial challenges, these are my recommended reads for personal self-improvement.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey, 1989

"Begin with the end in mind."

"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."

More spiritual than you might expect, but some great insights and tools for personal management.

The 8th Habit, Stephen Covey, 2004

A follow-up book presenting the values of principle centered leadership.

Awaken the Giant Within, Anthony Robbins, 1991
"It is the small decisions you and I make every day that create our destinies."

"It is not events that shape my life and determine how I feel or act, it's the way I interpret and evaluate my life experiences."

The original concepts that launched Tony Robbins and the self-help industry.

The Intelligent Investor, Benjamin Graham, 1973
From the professor who taught Warren Buffet how to grow his investments to be worth billions. Buffet calls it "By far the best book on investing ever written."

The Wealthy Barber and The Wealthy Barber Returns, 

David Chilton, 1989 and 2011
An easier read than Benjamin Graham and a great basic handbook for personal financial management. It should be required reading for every high school student and every investor paying someone else to manage their money.

Any of these books will help you focus on the fundamentals and achieve more successful approaches to your personal growth and development. It's worth finding the time for them.

And if you have others to recommend, I would be pleased to hear from you. Did I miss any of your favourites worth re-reading or recommended for sharing?

And for something new and different, take a look at the Self-Help Bonanza Book Promo for your choice of free new E-book releases from expert writers. Limited time offer, expires April 25th. Tips and tactics to do better in life, business, and relationships. Including my two books for entrepreneurs. Share with a friend who wants to be better, do better.

Be better. Do better.

Del Chatterson, Your Uncle Ralph

Learn more about Enlightened Entrepreneurship at: LearningEntrepreneurship.com 

Read more of Uncle Ralph's advice for Entrepreneurs in Don't Do It the Hard Way & The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans - 2020 Editions.

 Read more Blog posts at: LearningEntrepreneurship Blogs

 

Lessons from Lamborghini

Build a better tractor   

Neighbour has a nice car ….

I wonder if he'd take me for a ride. Maybe my next car, after I sell the 2nd million books ….  As Anthony Robbins would say, have a goal in mind and give yourself rewards as you pass the milestones.

Do you know the story of Lamborghini?

Mr. Lamborghini was a big fan of Ferrari and he owned a few. He had made his money as the owner a tractor manufacturing company in Italy. At one point, he had a few complaints about what he thought were deficiencies in the style and performance of his Ferrari. So he sent a message to Ferrari with a few suggestions for improvement. After a few more complaints, and suggestions, they replied with something rude about him sticking to tractors with his advice.

So he built his own cars and showed them what he could do.

Good lessons for Enlightened Entrepreneurs. Listen to the customer. Learn from the competition. Improve on what they do well and fix the deficiencies.

(Now about that test drive, ….)

Be better. Do better.

Del Chatterson, Your Uncle Ralph

Learn more about Enlightened Entrepreneurship at: LearningEntrepreneurship.com Read more of Uncle Ralph's advice for Entrepreneurs in Don't Do It the Hard Way & The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans - 2020 Editions. 

 Read more Blog posts at: LearningEntrepreneurship Blogs

 

The Beginning of the End

We’re not there yet

(This article is based on the ideas in Uncle Ralph's DON'T DO IT THE HARD WAY & The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans, 2020 Editions) 

I’m feeling safer, and closer to the end of the pandemic effects on life and business after receiving my first dose of the Moderna vaccine for Covid-19 this week. (Old-timers first! Thank you for allowing us the first shots.)

The good news arriving with 2021 keeps on getting better as we start to return to normal this year.  But we’re not there yet – in Montreal, my favourite coffee shop is still closed, breakfast and lunch stops are take-out only, the curfew still restricts any evenings out and social contact is still constrained to small groups, wearing masks and keeping their distance.

These may all be signs of the new normal for post-Covid-19 after the global war on the pandemic has ended. (If it ever does.) Like the new security measures after post-9/11 and the global war on terrorism, we will have new security measures against deadly contagious disease everywhere. Not just for getting on airplanes or entering foreign countries, but for entering bars and restaurants, live concerts and sporting events, enjoying museums, libraries and movie theatres.

Have you noticed what’s changed and what we’ve learned together?

  • A new awareness of our shared responsibility to take care of each other. And the need to listen and understand before trying to change the behaviour of those who disagree because of ignorance, fear, selfishness, anger or ideology.
  • A greater sense of urgency for fixing the social services network and supporting our front-line health care workers and first responders.
  • A heightened appreciation of the importance to our health and welfare of maintaining close personal relationships with friends and family, neighbours, associates and colleagues.
  • A better understanding of the need to tell the truth; to be a critical and skeptical listener; and, to engage in civil discussion of ideas and issues with those outside our usual circle of friends and fellow travelers.

What can we really expect of the new normal?

  • Innovative, creative and ambitious entrepreneurs continuing to respond with effective solutions.
  • Increasing adoption of new technologies and digital, online services in all areas of our lives; from work and recreation to education and entertainment.
  • Better regulation and oversight of the technology giants who dominate social media and control our access to, and sharing of, information both public and personal.
  • Better choices made by socially aware customers and consumers to support businesses, products and services that meet responsible, ethical and moral standards to protect people and the planet.

Can we be hopeful and optimistic? Yes.

Will we be among the intelligent, caring and compassionate, rational human beings who allow us all to be better and do better together? Yes, let’s do that too.

Be better. Do better.

Del Chatterson, Your Uncle Ralph

Learn more about Enlightened Entrepreneurship at: LearningEntrepreneurship.com Read more of Uncle Ralph's advice for Entrepreneurs in Don't Do It the Hard Way & The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans - 2020 Editions.

 Read more Blog posts at: LearningEntrepreneurship Blogs

 

Results are all that matter, right?

Wrong. Character matters.

Behaviour matters.

 This post from a year ago seems particularly appropriate this weekend as America makes important decisions about leadership for the country. The whole world is watching and worrying. Let’s hope they get it right and do better this time.

Here’s why I think character and behaviour are important to consider. It’s not just about results or performance on the job. It’s about the way the job is done and the guiding moral and ethical principles that go beyond ego and personal self interest.

Whether you are a corporate CEO, a politician, or simply a hard-working entrepreneur or business manager, leadership performance is continuously being assessed based on the results you achieve.

But does it matter how they are achieved? Some people think not. The results are all that matter. Especially if the results are what they want and they can ignore the consequences for those that get left out. They’re wrong.

Character matters. Ethics, attitude and behaviour matter. Tactics and methods matter. Words matter.

Success for some and the desired results may appear to be achieved, regardless of the behaviour. Immoral, irresponsible, ruthless, and aggressive behaviour may even appear to have been necessary to achieve the results. Wrong again.

The apparent short-term gains will eventually be lost to long-term reactions. Those who are used and abused will get even. A legacy of accomplishment may be completely forgotten, when the true character is revealed. Just ask Bill Cosby or Harvey Weinstein. President Trump’s day of reckoning is coming too.

C’mon America, we’re counting on you.

Be better. Do better.

Your Uncle Ralph, Del Chatterson

Covid Customer Service- Part 2

(This article is based on extracts from Uncle Ralph’s Random Ramblings in DON’T DO IT THE HARD WAY - 2020 Edition)

Make it personal

In this period of Covid pandemic protocols we are being required to meet new challenges and obstacles to deliver outstanding customer service.

The pandemic frustrations have heightened anxiety and stress for everyone. Customers are in no mood for tolerating poor customer service and employees are equally fed up dealing with impatient and unsympathetic customers.

Customer service has always been the ultimate test for choosing our suppliers and business partners, brands, products and services. How did your own last purchasing decision go?

Add the personal touch to the online experience  

In the pandemic world of 2020, we’re all doing more business online and missing the personal touch that always makes a difference. But making it personal does not mean displaying your messy office as background on a ZOOM call, wearing unprofessional attire as well as needing a haircut. And a barking dog in the background or a cat on the keyboard do not help. (Unless you really want to project the image of eccentric aunt Gertrude.)

And please don’t do the automated customer survey and ignore the feedback. Don’t just track the statistics, respond to the comments. You asked for it, right?

You’ll see, “Your service sucks and I’m taking my business to your competitor!” Or maybe, “Doreen and Nestor were excellent! Answered all my questions, upgraded my service plan and reduced my monthly fees. I’m giving you a shout-out to my 20,000 followers on social media.”

Both deserve a prompt personal response.

These are challenging times. Enlightened Entrepreneurs will lead the way.

Be better. Do better.

Del Chatterson, your Uncle Ralph

Read more of Uncle Ralph's advice for Entrepreneurs in Don't Do It the Hard Way & The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans - 2020 Editions.

 

Read more articles at: LearningEntrepreneurship Blogs

 

Covid Customer Service

 (This article is based on extracts from Uncle Ralph’s Random Ramblings in DON’T DO IT THE HARD WAY - 2020 Edition)

 Empathy on steroids

In this period of Covid pandemic protocols we are meeting new challenges and obstacles to delivering outstanding customer service. It’s time for new levels of empathy and understanding. And customers are likely to be in no mood for tolerating deficiencies.

 

The pandemic frustrations and isolation from normal social and business activities has heightened our levels of anxiety and stress to the point of explosion at the slightest disturbance.

Customer service has always been the ultimate test for Enlightened Entrepreneurs – demonstrating how well they treat their employees by how well their employees treat the customers. It’s the final decision-making factor in how we vote with our purchasing dollars, both as consumers and as business-to-business clients.

This period presents a severe test.  

How well are you responding to the fears and obstacles arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic – meeting protocols for hand sanitizers, maintaining social distance and wearing masks? How do you handle people who don't behave; who refuse to follow the public health guidelines or who are not at all sympathetic to the current restrictions on your normal levels of staffing, facilities and services? Are your staff well informed, well trained and prepared to respond appropriately? Will you retain existing loyal customers or gain new ones? Or both.

These are challenging times. But with sufficient compassion and understanding we can take care of each other and get through this together. Enlightened Entrepreneurs will lead the way.

Be better. Do better.

Del ChattersonYour Uncle Ralph

The secrets revealed! How to be a successful Enlightened Entrepreneur

Thank you for your interest in the STAPLES SPOTLIGHT EVENT , Wednesday evening, August 19th, on Enlightened Entrepreneurship

 

Be a successful Enlightened Entrepreneur

Have a Purpose and a Plan

Avoid the Big Mistakes

I wanted to follow-up with this article and also to provide the ZOOM meeting recording for your review , in case you missed it.

If you chose on registration to Opt-in to future mailings, I have added your email address to the current list for my occasional newsletter, Ideas for Entrepreneurs.  You may, of course, Join our mailing list now or Opt-out anytime.

The full -hour ZOOM recording is available now.   Check out the video at: https://share.vidyard.com/watch/km8duQnk3bjrBsy1ZSCZwM?

You may wish to quickly scan through to the specific slides or topics that interest you most.

I hope you are doing well with your own challenges as an entrepreneur and will join me in the cause of supporting and promoting Enlightened Entrepreneurship.

Thank you for your interest in how to be a more successful Enlightened Entrepreneur

Be better. Do better.

And please take care of each other,

Your Uncle Ralph, 

Del Chatterson

 

Checklists for the re-start of your business after Covid-19

Good management is required now more than ever.

Looking back over the past three months, you may be thinking, OK, that was painful, but it has to get better from here. For most of us, the negative impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on our businesses were unexpected disasters and the final consequences are not yet entirely understood. Nevertheless, we have to try and work our way out of it.

So what are the right management strategies and action plans to get through this economic turmoil and uncertainty with a more resilient and stable business?

Here are the lessons we’ve learned from previous economic crises and business setbacks:

  1. Do not rely on the headlines.

The media are not helpful to you.  They will provide neither balanced reporting nor insightful analysis for input to your planning or decision making. You will have to dig deeper. Make sure your market data and competitor intelligence is current and accurate.

  1. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.

Keep employees and customers informed. They may be worried, confused and need to be reassured that they can count on you. You may not have good news for them, but they will appreciate hearing directly from you and are not being left guessing what's coming next.

  1. Keep on Selling.

Now is not the time to cut back on marketing and sales. Your efforts now will be even more conspicuous and effective if your competitors back out of the market and away from their customers. Be selective and very focused. Work on building stronger customer relationships by being relevant and responsive to the current economic circumstances.  Avoid the cry for help advertising that only confirms “we’re desperate and we need the sales.” Customers are looking for strength, not weakness. Calmness, confidence and competence are much more appealing to potential buyers who are still healthy and want reliable long term suppliers.

  1. Do quickly what obviously needs to be done.

If it’s clear to you it's also clear to the people affected. They’re waiting for you to act and will be more confident and proactive themselves, if they see you taking action. Face the facts, don't fight the facts.

  1. Adapt.

Remember Darwin's survival of the fittest: those who adapt to their environment are most likely to survive; not the strongest or the biggest. This is not the time to be stubbornly persistent about your plans. Look around and be creative. Your destination may still be the same, but the route, the vehicle and the passengers may need to be changed.

  1. Be confident, but cautious.

Recognize the difference between calculated risk and a hopeful optimism. Make a decision if the potential outcomes and their probabilities are reasonably clear, but hold fire if they’re not.

  1. Show conspicuous leadership.

No one can do it better than the person who is ultimately responsible and can speak with sincerity and integrity on the concerns, strategies and plans. Lead by example, not by rhetoric.

A 10 point diagnostic to develop the short-term action plan for your business

From my experience, most businesses benefit from a regular health check – a business diagnostic that takes a thorough look at the whole business and identifies priorities and the potential for better performance.

At this point, for the recovery and survival of your business after the coronavirus shutdown you need to take a closer look at these 10 checkpoints and identify the most urgent priorities to get your business up and thriving again in the new business climate of 2020.

  1. Start with an updated strategic plan. Find your last business plan and review it against the new business environment and operating protocols. Prepare the new road map with clear milestones and a timetable to achieving your revised business objectives.
  1. Use your updated strategic plan to guide management and employee decision making. Monitor results against the plan. Review, revise and react quickly to customer responses and the changing business environment.
  1. You’re still in a competitive business: Are you keeping score? Compare your key performance indicators to the top performers. Learn from experience and adjust as necessary to achieve better results.
  1. Evaluate your performance in re-building long-term loyal relationships with customers, suppliers and strategic partners. Ensure you are showing your loyalty in return. You will need the support of all of them.
  1.  What about the people you need most: your employees? Get their feedback on any new concerns. Do they still believe you’re a great place to work?
  1. Assess each of the six P's in your marketing mix in the new post-Covid world – Product, Positioning, Promotion, Price, Packaging, and Placement. Fix what's broken.
  1. Assess your corporate image against the biggest and best brands in your business. Do you still look as good as you really are compared to them?
  1. Re-evaluate your online services. Are your competitors raising customer expectations? Do it better now. Don’t wait to be asked. And remember to turn the WWW upside down and think MMM – Manage, Market, and Monitor for improved results online.
  1. Review all your marketing communications. Do they capture the four C’s – Current, Clear, Concise and Consistent? Make them relevant and appropriate to the new business climate.
  2. Review the use of information and automation technologies in your business. Are they part of the solution or part of the problem in responding to new demands for productivity and performance?

Share these ideas with your management team and use them to improve performance. You will do even better when we get closer to normal business conditions again and there should be fewer areas to improve on when you do the next business diagnostic.

Good management will be tested during these times, but good decisions now will mean a better business in the post-Covid future.  Keep at it and we’ll get there together.

Be better. Do better.

Del Chatterson, your Uncle Ralph

Learn more about Enlightened Entrepreneurship at: LearningEntrepreneurship.com

Read more of Uncle Ralph's advice for Entrepreneurs in Don't Do It the Hard Way & The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans - 2020 Editions.

Read more articles at: LearningEntrepreneurship Blogs

 

The Magic of Entrepreneurship

Demonstrated by the street vendors in Rome

Find the magic of entrepreneurship. In the post-Covid-19 world you will need to be more creative, determined, flexible, responsive and persistent than ever. Be better. Do better.

What entrepreneurs do best is identify an opportunity and respond to it. They observe the market, test customer response and then deliver what works at the right time and place.

As a tourist in Rome a few years ago, I noticed that the street vendors had almost all decided that the thousands of meandering tourists were most in need of either bottled water or a selfie-stick. Those were apparently the best-selling impulse items and they were offered everywhere. I did appreciate the water bottles during long tours of the ancient ruins in the hot sun, but was already hating the forest of selfie-sticks that were invading all my carefully composed souvenir photos and did not want to join in the contest of who could get their cell phone farthest out in front of everyone else.

The street vendor sales strategy was simple and effective. A quick assessment of the passing prospects, a polite query then a quick decision to sell or move on to the next prospect. No time wasted on harassment or an obnoxious sales pitch. Pricing was competitive, one Euro for a bottle of water where the vendor was one of many and had a large stockpile and two Euros if he was alone in a remote corner with limited stock. The vendors also knew they were competing with bottles refilled from available public drinking fountains at no cost, so they all sold clearly branded and sealed bottled water that was ice cold.

But most impressive was their quick response to an unexpected thunderstorm and downpour chasing the tourists under cover. Like magic, suddenly all the street vendors were offering small collapsible umbrellas and cheap plastic rain ponchos!  Quality and price were not an issue, we needed them here and now, so sales were brisk for those that had them.

It was an impressive demonstration of effective sales tactics for entrepreneurs, whether you are a street vendor, a technology guru or the owner of a small business. Be ready to respond to your market, rain or shine.

Be better. Do better.

Del Chatterson, your Uncle Ralph

Learn more about Enlightened Entrepreneurship at: LearningEntrepreneurship.com

Read more of Uncle Ralph's advice for Entrepreneurs in Don't Do It the Hard Way & The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans - 2020 Editions.

Read more articles at: Learning Entrepreneurship Blogs. 

Yes, you need a Business Plan

From Start-up to Exit

It may seem unnecessary, uncreatively old-fashioned, boringly bureaucratic, and inappropriate for your brilliant business idea where you “dare to be different.” Nobody wants to look at a thick document full of industry jargon, market research mumbo-jumbo and spreadsheets up the ying-yang, do they?  Sorry, but yes they do.

The most important people for support of your plans will need convincing that you have done your homework and that you’re capable of delivering the results you expect. So don’t argue, just do it. Or if you still need convincing, read on.

Why Do You Need a Business Plan? 

It has a purpose. 

The most common reason for preparing a business plan is, “because the bank asked for one.” That is probably why most readers of the Guide to Business Plans are here. And that is obviously a legitimate reason for doing one.

But why is the bank asking for one? And do you need one for the same reasons? The answer is as simple as the familiar cliché: If you fail to plan; you plan to fail.

It’s hard to know where you’re going and how you’re getting there without a plan. It’s even harder to manage your progress if you haven’t defined your destination and set the milestones to monitor along the way. What route are you taking? What type of vehicle are you using? Who’s driving and who are the passengers? Why?

The bank, and any other investor or business partner, wants the answers to those questions to assess whether or not you are likely to succeed and whether or not they want to support you.

You need a business plan for all the same reasons.

Every business needs one, from the start-up to the exit.  

Documenting a Business Plan is an extremely useful process to focus the owners and the management team on their business model, strategies, and operating plans. The process will force consensus and decision making that might otherwise be neglected. It requires issues to be resolved and the conclusions to be documented after testing alternative solutions and their financial consequences.

A well-documented business plan will help you communicate the most important elements of your strategy and plans to the people who need to know them the most. Including you.
Maybe you’ve been successful in business for many years and never had a business plan. It's still a good idea for all the same reasons.  And now is a good time.

Maybe you’re ready to exit your business. Even better. A solid business plan will be the most important document you have to support the value of your business for sale or transfer to a new owner.

The greatest value of a business plan, however, is always in the process – involving your management team in a thorough examination of your business; its purpose, its strategies and its plans to ensure success. When it’s completed, all the key players will be more knowledgeable of the issues, the opportunities, the risks and the alternative paths considered and the reasons for the choices that were made; before committing to the final plan.

For a small business start-up, that management team may only be you. Maybe you’d rather keep your plans to yourself. But the business plan is still a valuable exercise. It forces you to answer all the questions that you should ask yourself and that will certainly be asked by the next people to get involved.

With a well-documented business plan you will be better prepared to meet all the challenges and more likely to succeed.

Be better. Do better.

Del Chatterson, your Uncle Ralph

Learn more at: LearningEntrepreneurship.com

Read more in Uncle Ralph's books of advice for Entrepreneurs: Don't Do It the Hard Way & The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans - 2020 Editions.