Make a plan and change it

20 years ago   •   1 min read

By Marcia Kadanoff

Some CEOs (certainly a minority) believe in frequent and continuous revision of the company’s business plans: Craig Knouf of Associated Business Systems revised his original business plan more than 120 times, revisiting the 30-page document on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis.

Eric Siegel of the Wharton Business School approves continuous revision of business plans, and says: “The world turns; things change. What you commit to a document on Dec. 19 is not necessarily appropriate on Jan. 19.” Knouf explains his preference as a way of identifying and correcting problems:

“If you only looked at the plan every quarter, by the time you realize the mistake, you’re five months off. You’re done. You’re not going to get back on track.” Since he updates his business plan every month, he was able to react quickly to a slight uptick in customer interest in one of his product lines, and by expanding that line (in defiance of the original business plan) the company is bringing in $3.1 million in new sales revenue.

Inc. 1 March 2004

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