Reviews - What do customers think about Strategic Planning Made Easy (Entrepreneur Made Easy Series)?
Opinions without research or supporting facts. Sep 21, 2007
I was very excited when i saw this book. It looked perfect. The Benefits were clearly labeled on the book's cover, and it was written by 3 business school professors. But when I got it, I found it was all hype, all "You Can Do It" statements about the 'need to plan'. All these ideas were justified with stories about the winners in business. So, heres' the way the book works. (1) Find the business success stories; BestBuy, Papa John's Pizza, Dell. (2) Now, write over and over again about how "strategic planning is critical". (3) Now, state how "The winning businesses always planned strategically."
That's the reasons why you need to plan.
But any thinking person knows you need to test your ideas against the businesses that failed. And that never happens. There isn't one example that shows a business that failed.
Here's two examples from the book: 1) Papa John's Pizza: "The founder started making pizza in the back of a tavern. Customer's loved it. The founder focused SOLELY on making pizza's. The founder never changed his focus. And that's why he has 2,800 restaurants in 49 states." That's all the author's provide. Here's what i would have expected. Data from SBA.gov on how many Pizza restaurants were started the same year as Papa John's, and why they failed. The reason that's important to me is most of these other pizza restaurant owners aren't idiots. I'll bet they had a strategic plan too. Why didn't theirs succeed? But the author doesn't give that. He just finds a successful business, and then says "They planned strategically."
2) Best Buy: "The founder had a single focus on providing music to his customers. This grew into 2,000 stores." And that's about all we get on an analysis of Best Buy. But there were other companies that had the same strategic focus. Specifically, Tower Records. The author implies the executives of Tower Records didn't have a strategic plan. Or if they did, they didn't have the correct one. Yet, their solution just tells you how to write a business plan, with references to doing "correct competitive analysis." That's the equivalent of telling a 1850's gold prospector "Go to California, buy an ax, and pick out the plot of land that has the gold. Then, put your effort into digging out the gold."
- This book is just another book on "How to write a business plan." Only the author's have dumbed it down so it resembles the "Who Moved My Cheese" writing style.
The best way to verify my review is to read the 1st chapter yourself. It's available on this site.com. If you like that, you'll like the book. But for me, I need more hard facts on why the proposition will work, and not just a bunch of spurious correlations to justify obvious ideas.
This book will help you write your new company's business plan Apr 27, 2006
Pretty good book! I'm not sure whether the title should have been "strategic planning" or "business planning?" It doesn't matter though, because they are basically synonyms. If you are looking to start a business or your business is already started and needs some help, then read this book. Entrepreneurs should read this book. They won't be disappointed.
I don't think the subject of business growth was as important as the authors seemed to make it. The topic of the book was strategic planning - not how to strategically plan for significant company growth. However, planning will typically cause faster than normal growth if that is what a business owner seeks. So the subject of "growth" was certainly proper to include in this book.
The book is broken into 15 chapters. It is well organized and logically presented. My favorite chapters were:
4. Defining the future 7. The playing field (assessing the market) 8. Taking a hard look at yourself 9. Running the numbers 10. Evaluating resources 11. Strengths/weaknesses 15. Getting it in writing
I also think the inclusion of Chapter 14 entitled "Change" was wonderful. I would have liked the book better if it had focused more on business planning in general and thus emphasized the need to tackle "change" when doing strategic planning for an existing business. But to do this would require some structural changes to the book, and it's really not necessary.