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Boomer Update
Business Plans Part I
Upcoming Events
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May 2010
ADM logoHolidays and Flowers 
May is a lovely month which includes Mother's Day and Memorial Day--the social kick-off to the summer, though the astronomical kick-off is still 3 weeks off. Put away the warm clothes and drag out your summer wear, and hope it still fits.
This is also the time of year when organizations give out awards and plan for 2010-11. The year is not even half over and we're already planning for the next one! Unbelievable!
This month we are featuring a guest columnist, Greg Goodman. Greg's company is Goodman Strategies and is located in the Raleigh, NC area. Scroll down for Part I of a two-part series on business plans: why we need them and how they can improve our businesses.
Have a great May!
Boomer Update
Confidence In Retirement Income is High 
With all the hand-wringing and government bashing about the solvency of Social Security, those who are closest to the situation do not seem to be concerned. In a recent Opinion 50+ poll, six out of ten Baby Boomers (between 50 and 64 years old) say they are very or somewhat confident that Social Security will provide benefits for them throughout retirement.
Boomers (we can hardly call them babies any longer) have been changing societal paradigms practically since they were born. For some time now, we have known that they are the wealthiest, healthiest and most "young at heart" cohort of any 50+ group in history. Median income for this group is reported at more than $63,636, compared to about $50,200 nationwide. Fueling an affluent retirement for many are pensions and retirement investments in addition to Social Security. About two-thirds of the Opinion 50+ respondents say they expect to receive a pension from a governmental unit, a corporation, or some other entity (64%). Nearly as many (60%) have other retirement savings or investments such as IRAs, SEPs or Keogh Plans (21%), a 401K plan (19%), or other investments (19%)--with some people reporting more than one of these instruments.
Internet access is nearly universal among Boomers--92%, including 84% who have access at home. While e-mail is the primary online activity (52%), many people are getting news electronically (22%), booking travel arrangements (12%) and shopping for other things online (16%). Some look for financial (14%) and healthcare (10%) information online as well. These numbers are bound to increase as the rest of the later Boomers turn 50--in just four years, all Boomers will have reached this exalted age.
The key to much of this generation's activity is health. Six in ten say their health is excellent or very good. In part, that is facilitated by access to medical care and maintenance pharmaceuticals. One out of five in this cohort takes medication for high blood pressure (20%), and nearly as many take something for high cholesterol (17%). That is a trend that is bound to increase: in the next oldest generation (65-85 years old) 43% take high blood pressure meds, and 35% take something for high cholesterol. 
Bette Davis once said that growing old is not for sissies. That may be true, but Boomers have traditionally been risk takers and I don't see that changing much.
Opinion 50+ is a service of Opinion America Group, Cedar Knolls, NJ, 
The Secret Power of Business Plans--Part I
It's Not Just A One-Off Document

Many people believe that business plans are just one-time documents for launching new ventures or raising capital. In reality, they can be among the most effective ongoing business-building tools.


At its simplest level, a business plan is a business proposition that says:  This is what exists today; this is what I want to exist tomorrow; and, this is how I intend to get there. We all go through that mental process all the time. When you formalize the process by committing your plans to paper, however, some surprising things happen.


Writing things down has been shown to actually create different neural pathways in your brain than occur when you merely imagine or ponder an idea. Language, which is a left-brain function, is the medium our brains use to translate all of the concepts, feelings, and creative impulses in the right-side of our brains into logical thought. Put another way, we think in words (try thinking about the color of a ripe banana without using the word 'yellow'). When you convert ideas into words, things that may have been hazy or disconnected become organized and systematic. While speaking also uses language, writing it down takes more effort, which the brain interprets as more of a commitment-in effect, marrying thought with intention. And, as neuroscientists are fond of saying, "the neurons that fire together, wire together" (translation:  it sticks!).


The next thing that happens in the process of writing about your objectives and intentions is that old assumptions naturally start giving way to new questions. If you do something in a particular way, for example, writing about it might make you question why you do it that way. Is it really the best way? How can you find out? If you determine that your approach might not be the most intelligent or effective, that's GREAT because that is the start of change.


Questioning is what leads to change, and change is what business plans are really all about--defining the steps that will help you transform what exists today into a more desirable set of circumstances in the future. It starts with asking the right questions...which gives rise to discovery...which leads to new ways of understanding your business, new ways of doing things, and new possibilities. 


The true value of formally engaging in the business plan process is the rigorous explorations that lead to a deeper understanding of challenges and opportunities, rather than "seat-of-the-pants" management. What makes it powerful is the impact it has on your thinking.


PART 2, will look at other effects and benefits of the plan process.


Greg Goodman has been an independent business plan consultant since 1982 and recently published the book, The Best Business Plan Book For Real Estate Agents, How to Write a Great Business Plan and Use It to Grow Your Business Constantly. 

Upcoming Events
May 19, 11:30am-1:30pm
The International Association of Business Communicators is pleased to present the President of IABC, Julie Freeman, who will speak about Executive Presence: Behaving and Performing as a Leader.  The luncheon meeting will be held at Blackstone's Restaurant on Pinelawn Road in Melville.  Visit for more information; or, you can register at I look forward to seeing you there!
May 19, 8:00-10:00am   
Earlier that day, SMPS-LI will have its annual meeting at Carlyle on the Green at Bethpage State Park. You can meet the members and especially, the new Board members and learn about the organization Go to for more information and to register.
May 14, 1:00-4:30pm
The New York American Marketing Association will be co-hosting an important workshop with Fordham University: "Customer Experience And The Brand." It will be held at the Lowenstein Building at Fordham, and you can find out more about it and register by going to:
Adrian's Network
Don't forget to check out both real and virtual networking on . Adrian always gets an interesting, diverse, and outgoing group together, whether it is a conference call at 8am or a pre-dinner in-person meeting at 6pm. And now she has expanded to Phoenix and North Carolina! (Watch out Atlanta--Adrian's coming!)
This practice is dedicated to helping companies become knowledge-driven, rather than assumption driven about strategic and tactical decisions concerning lines of business, branding, communications, and various marketing activities. For more information about how we do this, case studies, frequently asked questions about marketing research, and testimonials, please visit our web site:

Ann Middleman