he journey through the business plan is now complete. You have a sparkling new plan
with all the required approvals and funding. So where is it that you have arrived? Only
at the starting point. You are embarking on a new era. You have a new or revitalised busi-
ness to run. I am envious. I wish I was in your shoes at this moment. There is so much to
do and it is all new and exciting.
In exactly the same way that I took you mechanically through the process of preparing
a business plan, I will now run through the logical steps that turn a plan into reality. I think
you will agree that these are simple and obvious. But please do not become obsessed
with them. They are tools only. Your other management skills are much more important.
When you have completed this chapter, you will be armed with an excellent plan and
a solid method of executing it. Then it is down to your personal and unique business
acumen and skills. I know that you can make it happen. Good luck.
Time for a break?
You have produced a superb business plan. It has been approved by your shareholders,
board of directors, bank manager, the boss or whoever. You have the required funding sit-
ting in the bank. You know what has to be done. I guess that it is time to stick the business
plan in a drawer, enjoy the honeymoon period and worry about getting results later.
This is the worst possible step to take. Start turning the plan into reality while it is still
fresh. Extend it into policies and procedures, objectives and budgets. This is easy after
all the hard work that you have done up to this point. Make it permeate every nook and
cranny of the business. Monitor the results and the environment – watch the economy
and especially your competitors, business partners and customers. Keep the plan up to
date. Most important, revise the strategy and plan if new information so requires. Do any-
thing other than put the plan away in a drawer.
From plan to reality
There is a simple relationship between a business plan and all those ring binders and
papers on your shelves. This is illustrated in Figure 13.1. The business plan is the basis
policies, rules and procedures;
FROM PLAN TO REALITY 319