The Cracks in A Business Plan
Now that we’ve talked about how important, amazing, and even magical a business plan is, let’s talk about why they suck. Well sucks a strong word, let’s just say that when mishandled they can suck. Some people believe that focusing too much on a business plan can stifle creativity and turn your operation into a manufacturing plant of boring grey nothingness.
This is harsh, completely true, but harsh. Traditional business plans are the best thing to read when you can’t sleep, as they can be tedious and boring. It’s not the business plans fault, it’s the outdated nature of its design.
Those older plans are written with one thing in mind, getting funding. Let’s be honest bankers and lenders are boring and stuffy, at least they were. Nowadays no one has time to be stuffy and read a 50+ page business plan.
Which is why we focus on a smaller business plan of no more than 20 pages. A lean mean dynamic machine. This is not your grandfather’s business plan. While you want your business plan to be solid and dependable, you don’t want a brown four door station wagon with peeling paint and a sagging bumper.
You want a bright red Lamborghini, completely stock with no changes. You want people to look at your business plan and immediately stop and take in the majesty of it all. Being flashy isn’t enough but being plain vanilla ice cream is a no go.
For every upside there is a downside. A business plan doesn’t make you impervious, and it doesn’t always pan out the way you want it to. If you use your plan as a crutch, then you will face plant so hard, because It’s not strong enough to hold up the weight of your entire company.
Your business plan represents the facts about your business, not just what you hope your business will be. Your business plan is not a crystal ball, and sometimes you will get it wrong. That just means you must keep moving forward. If you think that market research and strategies can help you predict everything that will happen, then play the lottery and make your life way easier.
I’ve preached about how important research is, but if you go too far down the rabbit hole, you’ll never even get started.
The reality is nothing is for certain. A solid business plan is just one part of your business. If you don’t live or die by it, you should be okay.
I would suggest that if any of this feels out of your wheelhouse, then hire some outside help. You don’t want to present a sloppily put together plan, just to save a little money. If anything, you at least need to have someone else check over your work. Not everyone is good at everything, and if you’re not great at writing or you’re having a hard time boiling your points down to sentences, consider hiring a copywriter.
Same goes for marketing or any other aspect that you’re not comfortable with.
Now say you do have your business plan all written out, but you still don’t understand what kind of other plans your company will need, well look no further. Keep on reading so that you can see exactly what other plans you should have, and what they look like and do.