Despite the upcoming Obama craziness, young Kenyan entrepreneurs met in a much less formal gathering, for the second meeting in July, to once again discuss business plans.
One of us is currently developing two plans for his businesses, and he gave us a great lesson.
1. Let all team members own the business plan. He is working with business partners and he lets them contribute to the whole plan. The person in charge of finances therefore brings in the financial part of the plan, the marketing people write the marketing part and so on.
In that way, they actually own it and won’t just see it as a piece of paper. It will be easier to hold them accountable and show the reasonable next steps through time for the whole team.
2. Visualise your goals in your business plan. For people who are just starting out, those who just have a dream and don’t know how to go about it yet, a business plan will help visualise the venture and then be a road map, guiding them on the way forward. It will also hopefully show you some problems ahead to be anticipated, so that you can minimise the risk a bit.
3. Put it into action. However, especially in Africa, but also in the general global world of entrepreneurship, what counts in the end is action, not what is written on paper. Therefore, the business plan, however much it is a big piece of work, is also just the beginning.
It is a living document that needs to be developed as you go, and it strongly depends on your own leadership style and how you execute the steps that were planned in the business plan.
Talking about Africa:
In our international group we figured that there are some differences on the ground between the
global North and South when it comes to doing business. On the other hand, entrepreneurship and business seem to be global phenomena in which global rules apply.
We will dive into this topic more in our next meeting, when Obama has left and we will have learned some lessons from the Global Entrepreneurship Summit.