I kept my notes organized by speaker and their points are summarized underneath their names. These are not exact quotes.
Depending on demand, next time I may bring my recorder and offer a podcast of the panel session.
Paul Ulyett - http://www.linkedin.com/pub/0/678/b2b - Moderator
- Don't use spreadsheets to run your business, that typically means there is no infrastructure.
- Think of what your business should look like in terms of processes and systems. Look for ways to automate.
- Break the plan into small chunks and execute aggressively and measure passionately.
- The plan should not constrain, instead, it should measure and manage.
- Summary of key points:
- Planned reflection time off site, away from the day to day operations.
- Use lear definitions.
- Break into manageable chunks.
- Set realistic goals.
- Goals should be measurable and the tactics changeable.
- Base your strategy on facts.
David Luke - http://www.linkedin.com/pub/0/559/94b
- Top level executives should use scheduled reflection time for strategic level thinking.
- The business plan should be "connected", meaning that the objectives need to be understood at all levels of the company.
- Break the plan down into manageable chunks and simplify.
- Learn how to write goals and strategy. You must learn how to express those goals and strategy realistically.
- Start with simple steps to gain momentum.
- Values should be shared across the organization and participation should be encouraged at all levels via brainstorming sessions.
- Make sure the plan is a living and breathing document.
- Keep your goals clear, with backup plans in preparation for change.
Tom Fedro - http://www.linkedin.com/in/tomfedro
- The plan should be simple, realistic and specific.
- Have guiding principles that can be referred to in times of conflict.
- Invest time in finding quality advisers.
- Keep your focus on the primary goals.
- Gain credibility early by obtaining key customers.
- Make sure your product or service is solid and scalable.
- Focus on revenue and customers. These two things trump a plan every time.
- Make sure you have defined contingency plans.
- Talk to experts in your industry to determine the viability of your plan.
- Make sure you get enough funding to support your plan.
- Know who you are offering your product or service.
John Capano - http://www.linkedin.com/pub/3/b4a/ab
- Money, time and effort should be measured and tied to job descriptions.
- Don't let planning tools bog down the process, instead match the tools to your process.
- Always create your metrics based on the key goals.
- Spend some time thinking about what to take off your plate.
- The organization should be connected to the main goals, of which there should be a maximum of five.
- Everyone in the organization should be focused on execution with respect to the main goals.
- The strategic plan should be focused on execution with respect to getting from point A to point B, in detail along with supporting goals and strategies.
- Typically, VC's look at management, then an overview of your plan and then they dig deep into the business plan.
o Monitor your resources with respect to the plan.
o Be reasonable, take it step by step and focus on the short term and execute.
Bob Newkirk - http://www.linkedin.com/in/newkirk
o Define your exit strategy. Are you looking for a lifestyle business or to go public?
o Ask: Who are we? Where do we want to be? What are we passionate about? What will we be the best in the world at?
o Implement a system that tracks milestones and activities such as BaseCamp.
o When you are off course, the problem can usually be traced to lack of resources.
o Your core ideology should not change (put these items on the front page of the system you use) while the tactics should be flexible.
o Keep the time frame within six months for the executable plan with no more than five key objectives.
o Look at partnerships and outsourcing for anything outside of your core competencies.
o Tie the plan to the financial well being of the executors of the plan via bonuses based on the key objectives.
o Spend time in research. People like to compare. Find out where the buyers buy and be there.
o Choose three to five specific goals.
o Remove babble and stay realistic.
o Focus on cash flow in the financial plan.
Please send all feedback, topic suggestions and/or questions to TechTalk@AboveTheLimit.com. Digital archives can be found at BlackVoiceNews.com and IngleWoodToday.com.
Elmer Thomas Jr. is Co-founder of ATL Innovations, Inc., an award winning web and software development company dedicated to bridging the digital divide and ThemBid.com, a service offering free advertising for businesses and makes finding services and products easy for consumers. You can find out more about Mr. Thomas at ATLInnovations.com and ElmerThomas.com.
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