I’ve been in perennial business planning mode for the last few months as well as helping a few start-ups with theirs. Its struck me more than once how folks really struggle to put something together or even to convince themselves that they need a plan in the first place. For that reason I’ve finagled Mary to help me write a series of blogs over the next few weeks that might help people put together their business plans
To kick off the ‘series’ I thought I’d write down my reasons for it being a good idea to write a business plan in the first place. This is really in response to the argument that start-ups don’t need a business plan and that they should just get on with getting out to the market and see where it takes them. I really disagree with this approach (although the JFDI argument is often compelling and sounds like a great laugh) for a number of reasons. I reckon you need a business plan from day 1 because:
- You must define your product – what it is, how people will find about it and how much it’ll cost
- You must know the potential market – otherwise how do you know you don’t have a hobby on your hands rather than a business
- You need a business model – if you can’t write down how customers will buy your product then you don’t have a business so what’s the point of having a product
- You need something to aim for – targets for a very young company are always a stab in the dark but they do help you focus at least
- Is this thing viable – it could be that your product is too expensive, the market too small and hard to reach to make money – better to know that in a plan than in reality!
For those reasons, plus a whole lot more, you need a business plan.
So coming soon in this batch of blogs will be:
- 10 massive mistakes in writing your business plan
- Financial forecasting 101
- Dos and don’ts of writing the story
- Writing for an investment plan
- Storytelling – how the ancient art can make your business plan fly
- The importance of detail… and the important details
Plus some more stuff we’ll come up with… probably on a sick bag!