A Small Business Plan Reveals Potential

12/17/2015 | Roger and Susie Engelau

What is your small business capable of?


In my experience, your small business is capable of way more than you’re producing.


You’ve tried to grow your business—several times, and it hasn’t worked out.  So many business owners become timid, “Small Businesses Are Too Timid with Growth Plans,” fall back into maintenance mode, and lose sight of what their business’ potential could be.  You’re stuck day in and day out keeping it running. It’s like the cliché ‘you can’t see the forest for the trees.’


Every. Single. Business. Has. Potential.  I see amazing possibilities in every single business I walk into.


How do you uncover the potential in your business?


If you don’t know what your business is capable of, how will it ever be great? How will you ever increase your profits to that next level?


First, I implore you to give yourself permission to step out of the day to day running even for just a few hours – it’s the only way you’ll clear your head of the day-to-day deadlines and get an outsider perspective.


Next, actually ask an outsider. Engage someone from outside your company—a networking group of peers, a business coach, your accountant or banker—and get their insights. Often my wife Susie and I go for a long weekend vacation and wind up discussing why we started the business, what we think it’s capable of, and generally re-inspiring ourselves.


Finally, get a small business plan in place for your company. There are simple formats that allow you to get a comprehensive plan developed in as little as 3 or 4 hours.



A small business plan real life example


Tom owned a metal fabrication plant with 18 employees. By the time Tom and I sat down to make a small business plan that we intended as his roadmap to a steep profit upturn, he’d been plugging away at the same profit level for 5 years. He was worn out from 60 hour workweeks but anxious to turn things around.


During the 1st section of the small business plan, the SWOT analysis, among other ‘Opportunities’ he listed artistic architectural components as an opportunity. Was it possible that this could turn into a profit machine for Tom? We wouldn’t know until we investigated.


We listed actions to investigate each Opportunity. We went to industry meetings, networking meetings, and did a lunch and learn with architects whose designs sometimes include artistic metal components (such as, say, a 5-foot flame atop a 45-foot stone torch).  Tom explored the market connecting with schools, hospitals, and community development groups. Yes, we concluded, growing the artistic architectural components segment could be a lucrative segment.


Tom rallied his managers around the small business plan. Once marketing, production, and quality had their respective plans, the team decided to commit to 180 days. They would start small. Tom hired a sales person, got initial projects, and evaluated each project along the way.


The small business plan and the planning process caused them to look at the company’s potential and they got excited. It caused them to find a way forward. It inspired them to see what was possible. And it gave them confidence—confidence based on research, multiple perspectives and inputs, and step-by-step action steps.  Today, the fruit of Tom’s small business plan is a profit level higher than ever before born by a steadily growing segment of his business.

An opportunity to make a small business plan for your company


Join us at my quarterly small business plan workshop in central Indiana. Business owners come together and provide outsider perspectives to help each other complete their 1-Page Strategic Plans and 90-Day Action Plans.


Register for the first quarter’s Growth Plan Business Planning Workshop here.


Thur., Jan. 7, 2016, 9 – 4 pm
Hilton Garden Inn Indianapolis Airport, 8910 Hatfield Dr., Indianapolis  46231


You’ll walk away with:


  • A clear picture of where you want your business to be in 10-30 years, a 3-5 year plan, a 90-day plan, & monthly goals broken into weekly actions
  • Your 12-month goals broken into bite-size quarterly goals, monthly milestones, & weekly actions
  • Strategies to build your profits right away
  • A network of like-minded business owners


A small business plan costs very little in terms of your time or your money. How can you afford not to?


Roger Engelau, Business Coach to Business Owners in Every Industry


P.S. Secure your seat now for The Growth Plan Workshop and get over half off the normal price.  Click here to register.