The best business plans are the simplest


By Christoff Oosthuysen

When things start going your way, you may smell success around the corner. But good opportunities do not always lead to good business.
There is so much to keep in mind, and things can easily go wrong. And they do go wrong – this I’ve seen over and over in the more than 20 years that I’ve been supporting, coaching and training entrepreneurs.
One solution is to have a plan, one that can guide and support your operations and also make allowances for unforeseen events. Sadly, many business plans are completely over-the-top in terms of what they contain, and offer little practical value to the business. However, it does not need to be difficult to develop a plan to increase the likeliness of great results.
In working with clients of the IDC, Business Partners and NEF, and participants in programmes run by companies such as Microsoft and development agencies such as Seda, I came to one very important conclusion – the best business plans are the simplest ones.
This realization, combined with my experience as a business owner and the insights I gained in working with existing and startup entrepreneurs, led me to develop a 1-page planning tool I call the Flow Canvas.
I have used this tool over the past five years with hundreds of entrepreneurs from South Africa and also various other countries, such as New Zealand, India, Brazil, Germany, Norway and the USA. I’ve used it with sophisticated tech companies, and I’ve used it with people running basic gardening businesses. In my experience, adherence to a simple, structured plan leads to big shifts in clarity, so that all understand what must be done next and how these actions support your bigger goals.
The good news is that a new online version will be launched in November, making this simple and effective planning tool available to many more people – including you!

As a valued reader of Catalyst, you can add your name to the select list of people who will get pre-access to the Flow Canvas before its official launch date. This is a planning tool that can really make a difference to your business success. Go to to add your name.

– Christoff Oosthuysen is an entrepreneurial coach and trainer, and also publisher of Small Business Connect.


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