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SHOULD I DEVIATE FROM MY BUSINESS PLAN?
This can be a tricky line to tread, between being flexible enough to adapt your business plan and grow when new opportunities come along, and being careful not to spread yourself too thin were you should deviate from the business plan. You don’t want to commit to new projects for which you aren’t prepared and run the risk of the project not being profitable, or worse, not delivering on the project.
I encountered the same issue when you made contact with a potential client who had a massive project in the works. The project itself was outside of our core competencies at the time – it was something that we could do, but that we did not at that stage have the infrastructure in place to support.
Although I was sure tempted to try and quickly upscale the operations to take on the project, I decided in the end that it was best for new projects to let the project pass and to concentrate on growing organically. The client will appreciated the honesty and will stay in touch, and now, a few years down the line, we need to have the infrastructure in place and are talking again about taking on their project.
This was the experience – you need to say this will be the best choice in every scenario, but it holds true that the best thing you can do is to look realistically at both your capacity to complete a contract that may be outside your business plan, and the benefits of taking such a contract on.
If your service or product truly has a unique selling point, then you will always have a niche audience and can reduce the risk of being side-lined by not taking on contracts for which you’re not particularly suited. And while big money value contracts are of course the most tempting – and useful for your businesses’ growth – don’t discount the smaller contracts which may force your business to grow in unexpected ways that can be beneficial down the line.