Unformatted text preview: an to overcome some speciﬁc
business hurdle; what you want is regular planning, full cycle, a complete planning process that
becomes a managing tool for growing your business:
• Take a fresh look. • Develop your team with SWOT Analysis. • Make strategic choices. • Create commitment. • Establish regular plan reviews. HURDLE: THE BOOK 5.2 ON BUSINESS PLANNING Take a Fresh Look
Back in the 1970s when I was a foreign correspondent living in Mexico City, I dealt frequently with an
American diplomat who provided information about Mexico’s increasing oil exports, which were a big
story back then. We had lunch about once a month and he became a friend.
Then one day he told me he was being transferred to another post because he had been in Mexico too
long. I was disappointed for two reasons. “What? But you’ve only been here for three years,” I said,
“and you’ve barely learned the good restaurants!” He explained to me that the U.S. foreign service
moved people about every three years on purpose.“Otherwise we think we know everything and we
stop questioning assumptions,” he said,“and that’s dangerous.”
I still remember that day because I’ve seen the same phenomenon many times in the years since, in
business. We — business owners and operators — are so likely to fall into the same trap. Our business
landscape is constantly changing, no matter what business we’re in, but we keep forgetting the fresh
look.“We tried that and it didn’t work” is a terrible answer to a suggestion when a few years have
gone by. What didn’t work six years ago might be just what your business needs right now. But you
think you don’t have to try again what didn’t work in the past.
This is why I advocate the “fresh look” at the market at least once a year. Existing businesses that want
to grow too often skip the part of business planning that requires looking well at their market, why
people buy, who competes against them, what else they might do and what their custo...
View Full Document