Business Plans - Dont waste your time!

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Comments

  • ProfDavidProfDavid subscriber Posts: 2
    Excellent and insightful reply Kim.If it works for you in terms of your business, your personality etc then by all means do a business plan that will be of concrete value. My gripe is that I have worked with so many people who say where is your business plan to people who are not ready. For me the essence of a business is to have a product or service and sell it.If the market comes back to you and confirms that there is `life` in the business - you then need to start thinking strategically, and a business plan may help.Maybe this is a British thing?
  • ProfDavidProfDavid subscriber Posts: 2
    AS with my response to Kim, I agree, it depends on the persona and the situation.Best WishesDavidwww.21stcenturyentrepreneurs.co.uk
  • OldNikkoOldNikko subscriber Posts: 0
    Here`s a research paper about biz-plans... I thought it pretty much OK.
    http://blog.guykawasaki.com//Bygrave.doc</A>
    Nick
  • robertjrobertj Tampa Bay, Floridasubscriber Posts: 0 Member
    Nick,
    Interesting paper - I just browsed it, but one point cought my eye: I`m paraphrasing - If you`re not raising capital, you probably don`t need to create a detailed plan. I admit that I probably picked up on this point because it is "near and dear to my heart".
    I`ve seen way too many folks who devoted way too many hours attempting to create the "perfect" business plan - as if the plan was the end, rather than a means to the end. On the other hand, I`ve also met many who operate with the "ready, fire, aim" method and expend a ton of resources (time, people & money) back tracking (fixing/changing) what they did previously.
    We (my business partners and I) believe that every business should have some type of plan - BUT it should be appropriate (in length and detail) for their needs, situation and style.
     
     
  • Margecam52Margecam52 subscriber Posts: 0
    I have been with businesses that had great business plans, some that had none.  Those with a business plan had an easier time deciding on which products were to be made, and which were not within the realm of the business. 
    The two major companies I worked for had them, and used them.  One of these was sold to the CFO & VP of the company... they veered off the plan, and are no longer in business (108 year old business..gone).  The President & owner of the business tried to tell them when the change over was in the works...but they just knew they needed to try a new approach.  Changes had been incorporated over the years (from wine boxes to furniture kits, etc.)...but that plan was used to decide these changes... will it keep our employees working?  Will it make the customer happy?  Will we make a profit?
    We opened an upholstery shop, no business plan...it worked ok, because we had a mental plan in place...we knew how many sofas we wanted to do in a month, that we would farm out anything to do with cars (after the first & only car we did), etc.  We knew what the local competition charged, and made our prices comparable.  We had goals and stuck to them.  I think a business plan resembles goal setting in many ways. 
    If you are going to do a business plan, do your homework.  We have a used merchandise store (our 2nd).  We are in an area we are unfamiliar with, so we first asked around about income levels in the area, other used merchandise stores (there were very few, and most of those are antique dealers for the most part).  Knowing that the community is mostly low to moderate income, we have geared our inventory to be in the price range these neighbors can afford.  If we had not done our homework, we would be sitting on a lot of unmovable inventory.  Other businesses say we price too low...but we move a lot of merchandise & are making a profit, which is our goal, to make money...not to get rich, but to have a successful business. 
  • robertjrobertj Tampa Bay, Floridasubscriber Posts: 0 Member
    Joel,
    I`m afraid I must respectfully disagree with the advice you have been given. As a long time silicon valley person, I`ve experienced the "product development" driven activity. Too often the result was a "solution" in search of a problem.
    I`d recommend:

    Your strategic plan (1-2 pages) which states (among other points) why this business should exist , where it`s going and how it will get there.
    A product plan (2-3 pages) which (among other things)  defines the "problem" your product will address and the target audience.
    A basic "budget".
    Good luck with your new endeavor.
     
     
  • bulberrysbulberrys subscriber Posts: 0
    I totally agree with your submission of having a business plan but sometimes consultants charge so much to write that we seems to ask why? writing it if i am going to spend this much than to spend it on growing ones business,but i believe its worth the cost anyway.
    Christ says HE is the way to the Father Business plan is the way to successful enterprise
    Please check this site out if you need funding for your start-up
    www.diamondcashclub.com/leverageebulberrys10/29/2007 10:57 AM
  • ericemartinericemartin subscriber Posts: 0
    Eisenhower said "In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable".
  • George3George3 subscriber Posts: 0




    "QUOTATION:

    "In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable."



    ATTRIBUTION:

    Dwight
    D. Eisenhower (1890–1969), U.S. general, Republican politician,
    president. Quoted by Richard Nixon in “Krushchev,” Six Crises (1962).
    One of Eisenhower’s favorite maxims."




    Submitted by:
    George F. Franks, III
    Franks Consulting Grouphttp://franksconsultinggroup.com
    Management Consulting and Leadership Coaching
  • StyleLadyStyleLady subscriber Posts: 1
    I will agree and disagree with your thoughts on the business plan. Many successful companies have started and run successfully without a business plan. I have family that have done it that way and are successful. But there are many that fail without one. It is up to the discression of the person starting the business.
     
    I do, however, have a question to those who do have business plans that they live by. Did you do it yourself or hire a professional? I have purchased the software Business Plan Pro and it is very in depth and has all the areas needed for a polished and professional plan. But the moment I installed in my my computer and fired it up, I realized that I am in for more then I planned! It seems way out of my league and I am new to this business startup thing. I am clueless! Any advice would be great! On another note, maybe I`ll start my own thread and ask this same question.
     
    Jessica
  • keyeraineskeyeraines subscriber Posts: 0
    It`s funny this subject came up. I just wrote an article about this very thing. Check it out.
     
    In the meantime, let me say that a business plan doesn`t have to be as formal as everyone thinks unless you are looking for funding. Business Planning is the more appropriate term I think. You have at least know where you are going if you ever plan to get there. So in my opinion, as I state on my website, a business plan doesn`t have to be in a formal format. Rather you really need to have something down on paper, in a notebook, scribbled on your wall that clearly defines what you are trying to do.
     
    See the article, 10 Reasons Why You Shouldn`t Write a Business Plan
  • fc07fc07 subscriber Posts: 1
     
    Eisenhower said "In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable".
     
     ericemarten,
     
     I don`t often feel the urge to reply to a posting, but I had never heard or seen this quote
     before.
     This is exactly how anyone going into business should view things, it makes running a
     business sound like something exciting rather than something to fear.
     Its no wonder this guy ended up being a USA president. 
     
     Many Thanks.
    fc073/4/2008 1:28 PM
  • George3George3 subscriber Posts: 0
    Eric,
    I think we can all learn alot from leaders of the past (and history in general).
    Regards,
  • owendowend subscriber Posts: 0
        I agree with ProfDavid. When a business is in its startup phase, so many details need attention. Product development, advertising, record keeping, etc etc. Too much time spent on a business plan is less time to run the business. A business plan is essential for raising startup capital, but it doesn`t bring ONE cent into your pocket. Marketing and selling does. It gets down to priorities. I have an internet based business and I have NEVER written a business plan, nor do I intend to any time soon. My efforts will focus on sales and revenue. 
  • BizCoachGregBizCoachGreg subscriber Posts: 0
    I think it`s interesting to play devil`s advocate regarding developing a business plan or spending that time selling, but reality is somewhere in the middle. Many entrepreneurs get analysis-paralysis in building their plan. Every t must be crossed and every i dotted...when in reality it`s a roadmap toward success.
    On the other hand, without any plan, you have no roadmap. So you spend three days selling instead...to what end? What is your marketing plan? What is your projected growth?
    Anecdotally, I have said that most businesspeople spend more time planning a two-week vacation (assuming they`ve every taken one) than they do planning their business. With this in mind, would you take a two-week trip without some kind of rough estimate of where you`re going and how you intend to get there?
    Using your logic, you`re better off spending that "planning" time driving...so you can get to [somewhere??] a little faster. Too many entrepreneurs do just that...metaphorically speaking, they jump in the station wagon with the family, the dog, and all their belongings and head "somewhere great".
    An entrepreneur has finite resources and he/she needs to use them very wisely. Part is working "ON" their business in writing a plan and developing some goals, while part is working "IN" the business and making things happen...getting sales, new customers, revenue, etc. Spend too much time in one area and you`ll neglect the rest.
    Just my 2 cents.
    Greg Hurst
    ActionCOACH Business Coaching
    (888) 842-4734
    [email protected]
    http://www.ActionCoachDFW.com
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