The big 3 auto makers were in Washington yesterday. Flew in on their private jets asking for money. Now personally I think it makes sense that if they have a jet – and they probably need it – that they would use them to get to Washington – practical – logical – from a business standpoint.
But from a marketing standpoint when you have to look at what the everyday person will think of you, and especially when you are trying to persuade politicians who worry enormously about public perception think – well then flying in on a private jet to ask for a government handout – Big Mistake!
That was only one small mistake. The other mistake was to not have a business plan – or any plan – about what they wanted or how this bail-out would help the industry, help the government, or help the people. They just wanted the money.
Now a business plan is only the culmination of the business planning process that takes an idea or concept through a systematized process of implementation and ultimately to profit (if done correctly).
The business plan steps through the following phases:
Evaluate the idea
Conceptualize or envsion the business format and structure
Systematize the process
Implementation of the system
Monitor and improve on the system
Unfortunately the CEO’s of Ford, GM and Chrysler were still in that Evaluate / Conceptualize stage. They had no system or plan formulated as to how they would go about getting the auto industry back on track.
And if you fail to plan – you plan to fail!