Like to Travel? Do It With a Group of Awesome Entrepreneurs Learn More

Having a plan for your business plan

No business plan survives first contact with a customer.
—Steve Blank, Silicon Valley–based retired serial entrepreneur.


After conjuring up a brilliant business idea, I would immediately start writing a business plan. Like a skilled magician, I could make a marvelous business plan appear before your eyes in just a few days. It would be complete with colorful graphs, in-depth market research, and detailed financials. The plan would be ready to execute. And I was sure it had as many pages as possible. Why? I once heard an investor say that he only considers investing in companies with plans that make a thump when you drop them on a table. After years of practical business experience, I realized that I didn’t make a good magician and  I was only fooling myself. Now I know better.

Experience has taught me that when I get a new business idea, working on the business plan is one of the last things to do. The three crucial steps I follow before even thinking of writing a business plan will work for you, too. First, examine the competitive landscape to see what companies are already there.What do they do poorly? What can you do differently to create a competitive advantage? Second, discuss the idea with potential customers, asking basic questions that determine how much they would value your product or service, which is perhaps the most important preliminary step to writing the business plan. Third, develop a sketch or basic prototype of the product. If it’s a service, map out vital steps and describe customer experiences.

By the way, when you are finally ready to write the business plan, make sure that you find professional help in areas that aren’t your expertise. If you don’t understand how to project cash flow for the next five years, don’t attempt it. Likewise, if you don’t know anything about marketing, which is likely the most important part of your plan, you shouldn’t be writing that section. A business plan should be a collaboration, not a solo endeavor. As a well-respected serial entrepreneur once told me, investors are skeptical of any business plan written by one person.

Even the academic world, known for resisting change, is reassessing the importance of the business plan. Candida Brush, chair of the entrepreneurship division and director of the Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, put it best in a recent interview withEntrepreneur magazine:

Students come in here saying they want to write a business plan, but that’s the last thing they need to do. The only way to get to a point where you have a truly entrepreneurial idea is to use a creative approach. Observe. Reflect. Do mini experiments, as opposed to sitting in the library reading case studies. . . . And for us, even that plan is about the process, not creating a 50-page action plan. If you get married to a bad idea, a business plan means nothing.

Babson students are encouraged to do three feasibility studies before moving forward with an idea or writing a business plan. The studies are similar to the steps I mentioned above. More universities and entrepreneurs should adopt this approach.

In short, too much emphasis is still placed on writing a business plan when you have an idea. There is an epidemic of “Frankenplans,” business plans that are a sloppy amalgamation of various business plans or templates; having the document itself seems more important than the quality of the actual plan. Instead of rushing to finish the document, make sure you take the crucial preliminary steps before you begin writing. If done thoroughly, these steps make your business plan stronger and greatly improve your chances of success and funding.

24 Responses to Having a plan for your business plan

  1. Your own commitment to receiving the message during came to be quite potent and have always enabled employees just like me to arrive at their desired aims.

  2. Nestor Qian says:

    Very goodAmazingAwesomeSuperbWonderfulFantasticExcellentGreat blog! Do you have any recommendationshintstips and hintshelpful hintssuggestionstips for aspiring writers? I’m planninghoping to start my own websitesiteblog soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you proposeadvisesuggestrecommend starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choicesoptions out there that I’m totallycompletely confusedoverwhelmed .. Any recommendationssuggestionsideastips? Thanks a lotBless youKudosAppreciate itCheersThank youMany thanksThanks!

  3. minecraft says:

    Why visitors still use to read news papers when in this technological globe all is available on net?

  4. minecraft says:

    My relatives every time say that I am wasting my time here at net, however I know I am getting knowledge everyday by reading thes pleasant articles.

  5. minecraft says:

    Good post however I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this
    topic? I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit more.
    Many thanks!

  6. minecraft says:

    We’re a group of volunteers and opening a brand new scheme in our
    community. Your site offered us with useful information to work on. You have done
    a formidable job and our entire community will be grateful to you.

  7. minecraft says:

    Heya i am for the first time here. I found this board and I find It really useful & it
    helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back
    and aid others like you aided me.

  8. minecraft says:

    I’ll immediately seize your rss feed as I can’t find your email
    subscription link or e-newsletter service. Do you’ve any?

    Kindly allow me realize in order that I could subscribe.

    Thanks.

  9. minecraft says:

    Today, while I was at work, my sister stole my iPad and tested to see if it can survive a thirty foot
    drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now destroyed and she
    has 83 views. I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  10. minecraft says:

    I don’t even understand how I ended up here, however I believed this submit used to
    be great. I don’t understand who you might be but definitely you’re going to a well-known blogger when you are not already.

    Cheers!

  11. minecraft says:

    WOW just what I was searching for. Came here by searching for minecraft

  12. 牙齒保養 says:

    全面潔淨無死角,倩碧音波淨膚儀替換刷頭。

  13. 激光靶向祛痣:對斑痣的顯性症狀能快速控制、甚至消除,短期實現肌膚無暇;多款激光設備深層激活膠原蛋白活性,深層煥發激活生命力。快速補充肌膚活性:根據顧客肌膚特性,醫生配套無創注射項目,為肌膚注入玻尿酸、肉毒素等能直接補充肌膚活性,快速補充肌膚缺失的玻尿酸、膠原蛋白,並能達到年輕態塑型的效果,從膚質和形態上保持年輕。聯合療法:注射玻尿酸、肉毒素等產品、配合精確波長的激光能加速透明質酸、肉毒素等物質的吸收,能極大化提高注射營養物質轉換率,最高達30以上,塑形效果保持3.5個月以上,年輕態效果保持時間延長1年以上。

  14. 自動回覆 says:

    個人化網路廣告

  15. 表現真我魅力 Marie Claire (HK) Edition 今年,適逢是PAUL & JOE BEAUTE誕生15周年的大日子,品牌特別推出多款全新唇妝產品,當中PAUL & JOE TREATMENT LIPSTICK貓咪保濕修護唇膏,結合保

  16. 詳細供款表 最新按揭措施. 1全期按揭計劃或混合年期按揭計劃首階段之每月供款額。 2只適用於每月攤分按揭保險計劃; 3根據金管局最新指引,業主承造按揭必須 …

  17. 爽身 says:

    為唇部注入水份,提供極佳的修護潤澤力

  18. 電波溶脂 says:

    CLINIQUE 倩碧線上購物官網。瀏覽Clinique倩碧官方網站,了解更多線上購物、護膚、彩粧、香氛及禮品詳情。通過過敏性測試,百分百不含香料。

  19. COSMO 美妝品牌情報匯集 UrCosme (@cosme TAIWAN) 找品牌 COSMO COSMO ,匯集了COSMO化妝水,乳霜,洗面乳,臉部保養

  20. ProSeries 蓓瑞絲 【專研柔潤系列】蓓瑞絲專研柔潤多效保濕髮膜的商品介紹 UrCosme (@cosme TAIWAN) 商品資訊 ProSeries 蓓瑞絲,專研柔潤系列,蓓瑞絲專研柔潤多效保濕髮膜

  21. I’mI am not sure where you areyou’re getting your infoinformation, but goodgreat topic. I needs to spend some time learning moremuch more or understanding more. Thanks for greatwonderfulfantasticmagnificentexcellent informationinfo I was looking for this informationinfo for my mission.

  22. TRANSFER NEWS LIVE: Follow us for all the latest transfer news from around the world in our dedicated rolling live blog. Who’s buying and who’s selling? Who’s eyeing up whom? Who’s going where? Transfer News LIVE: Manchester United, West Ham, Chelsea and Tottenham latest 

  23. If you know how to comment on blogs, forums etc, register here and earn 30 on all products: http://bit.ly/2ODt2Tt

  24. Thanks for your entire work on this site. My mum loves managing research and it’s really easy to see why. A number of us hear all relating to the lively medium you render both useful and interesting tactics by means of the web blog and therefore cause contribution from website visitors on this point then our own child has been becoming educated a lot of things. Take pleasure in the remaining portion of the new year. You are conducting a terrific job.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.