Your business needs a business plan… it just does OK!

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 Business Planningme 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:

  1. You must define your product – what it is, how people will find about it and how much it’ll cost
  2. You must know the potential market – otherwise how do you know you don’t have a hobby on your hands rather than a business
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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:

  1. 10 massive mistakes in writing your business plan
  2. Financial forecasting 101
  3. Dos and don’ts of writing the story
  4. Writing for an investment plan
  5. Storytelling – how the ancient art can make your business plan fly
  6. The importance of detail… and the important details

Plus some more stuff we’ll come up with… probably on a sick bag!

2 thoughts on “Your business needs a business plan… it just does OK!

  1. Perhaps we need to define some terms here.

    First, does a business need a plan? Yes.

    Does it need a Business Plan? I can’t answer that
    until you describe the goal of a Business Plan?

    If the goal is to secure funding, then anything more
    than twelve page (the short form Business Plan) is perfectly
    adequate. Post finding throw it away.

    It should have evolved into multiple operations plans and a budget
    by then anyway.

    To many folks think that a Business Plan is a goal. It’s a tool. And
    until people decide it’s purpose it’ll always be
    a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

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