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It is a simple document written for the benefit of the business owners/directors who comprise The Board - of which there may only be one member. The content and style must suit the users and above all be ACTION led. You can, with our help, create a full plan including financials in 1 day We even helped a client create a clear strategic intent over a 2 hour business discussion, whilst sailing a yacht, which later had more meat added to the bone as the intent evolved. It was very rewarding. 
It should be plausible for an investor/purchaser. The effort of having to discuss and commit to paper helps clarify and challenge your thoughts. Above all it allows members of a Board to challenge and understand each others thoughts. 
This is one of the reasons why my JFP Partners and I have included planning as one of our key questions in the Business Energiser Scorecard. 
We mentioned a one man Board – the business Owner. This highlights the key need/advantage of having a Non Exec director on the Board. Every owner needs a sounding board and every Board needs an external presence to bring ideas, objectivity, experience, knowledge and more to the table. Why do top sports people need coaches to succeed? A non exec can also be a very useful Board intermediary when issues become tough and emotional. We can point to actual experience, (a “one off”), of an altercation in the Boardroom, which was brought under control by the presence of the non exec.  
The clarity of thought also ensures that the Board achieves “buy in” and a clear way ahead. There may be still differences, both business and emotional, but they are clearly understood by everyone on the Board. This reduces the possibility of surprises and conflict. 
This is an area that our Scorecard allows you to address under Team Alignment 
A Strategic Plan is a living document which can be used to respond to changes and unforeseen circumstances. The old adage that no plan survives the “heat of battle” is correct. Having been a soldier I know from experience, once you cross that “Start Line” you have to be agile, responsive and decisive, and any plan must have these same qualities. The overall objective needs not to change but the route to it can and will. Hence the strap line “Failing to plan is planning to fail” is so appropriate.  
Having a clear plan also allows the Board to communicate the way ahead right down to the shop floor. This can be a very important motivator and buy in. It will motivate and energise the whole business. It means that difficult decisions can be communicated within a clear context. Do not forget what it is like to be a mushroom? This also gives people a sense of security in their job and they avoid the “frog” mentality 
If you would like to discover what other gaps you may, or may not, have in your business, take our complimentary Business Energiser Scorecard – you will find it very revealing!  
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