Scrap the Business Plan? Maybe for your investor pitch, but I believe a startup still needs a thorough Business Plan. Do you agree?
4 Steps for Creating an Amazing Pitch Deck for Potential Investors http://www.thedailymuse.com/entrepreneurship/4-steps-to-creating-an-amazing-pitch-deck/
I agree, a business plan is a very useful guide. It is an exercise to determine the depth of knowledge that the business owner has about the operating requirements, markets, customers, competition and financial progression of their venture. It also serves as proof to prospective employees and investors that your business concept/model is not a "by the seat of your pants" effort. My last point is probably one of the least addressed aspects of a business plan. A business plan should play out likely "what if" scenarios if things do not go according to the core planning assumptions. This is the real confidence builder, but one that many entrepreneurs are often afraid to approach.
I'm a business consultant and I live from helping my clients developing their business plans. Nevertheless, I have a balanced view about business plan.
I think complete robust business plans are a must for fund raising. No bank, VC or Angel will follow you on an idea written on a napkin.
Business plan are also really useful for entrepreneurs that aren't really sure about what they do. It helps them to structure their thoughts, offering and find path for growth. It also useful for strategic planning purpose and strategic management (to track and review performance).
Now, if you don't require big investment and you are just starting up. I think a good business analysis and a business model that you refine from time to time will just do fine at the beginning. I think it's better for entrepreneurs to test their hypothesis on the field than to spend months developing a business plan full of assumptions.
After testing your hypothesis and seeing what works and doesn't work. Than the plan you will create will be much more accurate.
So I would say... it depends...
Most definitely. I've been completely self-financed from day one - over 18 years - at various levels of operation, but have always had a business plan. I pull it out periodically to refresh my thoughts and refresh my plan. I create a different plan for new ventures or new approaches for the business. Completing the different sections forces me to do the research, look at my SWOT and project my financial needs.
The Business Plan is critical as a way to document your goals and how you'll achieve them. I've created a few of these over the years for clients, and one real benefit is forcing entrepreneurs to think through the steps they will take and how the numbers work in the real world.
I agree! But all the same I don't think a startup or someone operating from home ought to spend too much time/resources getting a professional consultant to help you with that. Rather put down a simple business plan and stick to it. Update it as you go along so that it will guide you in meeting the latest challenges.
Definitely! Without a plan and big , inspiring long term goals it is all to easy for a business owner to get lost in the day to day work, turning a great business idea into an overwhelming J.O.B. Without a clear plan entrepreneurship can become nothing more than self employment.
It is amazing the comments I receive from people I assist with plans. As we go through the process, they say, "Gee - I never thought about that. Oh, really?" That and more is said after writing part or all of a plan, particularly the Cash Flow.
I do agree that you need a business plan, just the "traditional" business plan, especially when it comes to marketing, might not be able to work as fast as your start-up needs. Iterations with the market can be really fast and pushing your business in very tight learning curve, meaning you will have to react much quicker than expected.
must have biz plan. period. but be able and ready to adapt to environment with respect to current and/or new competition, innovation, legislation, etc.
Maybe not the traditional-bound-huge-stuffy-business-plan, but all businesses need a plan. It needs to know where it is, where it wants to be and how it is going to get there. The pitch is another story and it probably has some facts that should have been thought out, discussed and analyzed in the "business plan".
I have looked a this topic from several angles and for my book, The Small Business Survival Guide - Insights into the first two years, I examined the process of business planning. I believe that planning is necessary and imagination and analyses are important but planning as a broad topic is cultural and subjective. You can get lost in planning and it can be an excuse not to move...the thorough business plan may be critical for some types of businesses, but there are many pros and cons for it. This is typical question that does not have a definite answer...in the end it depends! Act intelligently!
I find business plans helpful as a roadmap, charting the desired destination and one means of getting there. Yet, it is important to remain open and listen for feedback as soon as you launch the plan. Much like a budget is a financial articulation of strategy, not a policing tool, the business plan is a guideline and I find the most success when entrepreneurs and business owners allow it to provide a general framework while being guided and directed by tapping into and listening to the wisdom and intelligence available in the present moment.
Business plans are the roadmap for the entrepreneur and their team. Without a plan, the team can easily get lost in the forest, instead of staying above the trees, so to speak.
Startups especially need some sort of plan. I work with clients to put their vision down on paper. From there, it starts to become real. The process then is to take that vison and put it to use through strategy to bring the organization to life.
Business plans are essential - for me they are like a map. My biggest regret (before taking the leap into my own start up) is not realizing that I needed a plan and a financial map. Granted, these things evolve (especially for a start up coaching service like mine, since it has taken a while to hone my niche and focus) but I think, with a business plan, I would have been more practical in my approach. Instead I dove head first. Enthusiasm and passion are awesome but they don't necessarily pay the bills.
Business is about synchronized action to create a cycle of transactions. It works well to create business plan. Work to the level of details to bring clarity as to business variables. Do not spend the time to the level of details, where scope to absorb shocks of uncertainties gets eliminated.