Business Plans - Dont waste your time!

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  • vi5900vi5900 subscriber Posts: 0
    I`m a start up so I`m in the middle on this topic.  So, I`m at the 50 point now. I think I`ll start selling now.....
     
    Will follow-up on this....take care everyone.
  • HairConspiracyHairConspiracy subscriber Posts: 3
    I believe a business plan is only necassary when you are seeking funding.  Women don`t typically draft BPs, it`s a very male thing to do.  I know many successful women-owned businesses with no BPs, inlcuding my own! ~;o)
  • FitchtankFitchtank subscriber Posts: 0
    Writing a viable biz plan when raising capital is essential, unless you have already established yourself as a very successful entrepreneur (meaning you executed a rockin` exit strategy and made yourself and others bookoo bucks). These are the types of entrepreneurs that obtain funding from a biz plan scribbled on the back of a cocktail napkin.... future $1B company one side, fancy Sand Hill area bar logo on the other. This is rare and only a fortunate few get there.
    You need to write some sort of plan! If not for others, then for yourself.
    Focusing too much on actual word crafting can stifle your vision, yet without it you are just another chump labeling yourself an "entrepreneur", at least in the eyes of others. If you are chasing investors it`s like not having business cards identifying your "first mover in a $35 Billion dollar industry"........would you take a guy for real that couldn`t produce a 2 cent biz card?
    Depending on what stage you are in the very least you should have is a "Concept Plan", and nail your elevator pitch unless you plan to bootstrap `til the big board.  Also, take criticism as a good thing. These VC`s see a ton of plans and if you are groovin enough to get your talk on in front of them you have succeeded. Take into consideration their reasons not to fund you and sit on it for a little while. Don`t overhaul your baby every time a group of guys with more money than god shreds you apart. Tweak is the operative word.
    To become the guy everyone that knows someone who knows someone you have ever come in contact with since wearing diapers and all refer to you as "that guy", the more you hear any combinations of the following words, the closer you are:
    1. no
    2. get out of my office
    3. you need to leave the building
    3. we don`t know when he will be returning
    4. our reception area is for clients
    5. you need to start waiting outside
    6. no
    7. we don`t believe there is a strong demand for....pigeon pooper scoopers (insert your product here)
    8. who are you again
    9. he just stepped out
    10. he`s on another line
    11. I can take a message but you can`t camp out on his line
    12. We can not give out his home phone number or address
    13. Why do you need to know where he is vacationing?
    14. May I ask who`s calling? He doesn`t have a brother...oh you didn`t say brother.....he lost his mother years ago.
    14. YOU`RE CRAZY!!!!
    Stay true, see it through. Calm the noise within... most importantly amongst absolute chaos. The voice you hear in solace is the one with all the right answers....and if after all of this your concept still doesn`t fly? Read Wayne Huizengas story, learn to play an instrument and start over.
    battered & bruised - young entrepreneur
  • besthealthbesthealth subscriber Posts: 4
    You have a vision, a great idea and now you are ready to run with it - but then there are the protocols of business. This can be quite a deterrent to some who may be distracted and discouraged by this process - for these folks - they prefer to get to work right away (sometimes it actually works for them). There are others who jot down their ideas on a piece of paper or a napkin and tada -- it takes off successfully. However, there are those who need to follow a plan because it gives them a great confidence that they are prepared for doing business.
    Although a business plan is highly recommended, it is a work in progress that may need revision from time to time. I think the main point in having a plan is to jot down your ideas of what your business goals are - then build on it by putting your vision in terms of where you want to take your business, how you plan to run it, what do you need, etc. It serves as a guide yet it can be amended. Most importantly, if your business needs funding, you must have a business plan there is no way around it - most funders want to see where they are putting their monies - unless it`s your parents or a close person who believes in you and trusts your judgments. besthealth3/5/2008 2:14 PM
  • venturevestor1venturevestor1 subscriber Posts: 0
    I`m a principal in an investment firm, focused primary on seed stage, and some early stage.  We see 100`s of potential investment opportunities a year.  After nearly 20 years in this profession, i`m amazed that the vast majority of business plans floating around have not been well thought out or researched.  Ideas on paper are a dime a dozen, but actually exploring the execution aspects of the business idea brings home the reality of how difficult a start-up is.  That`s not to say that a start-up is doomed to failure without a well thought out plan.  However, we firmly believe that the odds of start-up success are greatly enhanced when the start-up team invests the time to really vet the business concept.  Over the years, we`ve actually changed our due diligence process significantly, with the business plan simply becoming a by-product of a more detailed living operational strategy document that is focused on the executional aspects of the business itself.  From an investors prospective, there is nothing more frustrating then striking a check, only to watch the start-up team flounder down a series of dead end streets.  Before launching, know precisely what problem you`re solving and for whom.  Identify your target market in it`s narrowest sense, understand what objections you`ll have related to making a sale, reach out to prospective customers and get some feedback, clearly define the steps in the sales process, understand how long your sales cycle is.......the list is long, painful, and ardous.  But as an example, without the aforementioned information, how can you realistically prepare a revenue forecast?
     
    If you`ve answered the guestions in advance, as an entreprenuer, you`re now free to begin to address the "new" problems and issues that are daily occurances in a start-up, while refining the operational aspects which you have already defined.
       
  • FitchtankFitchtank subscriber Posts: 0
    Hi Bevla......so BP`s all come down to what sex a person is? If your discovery is indeed true the roving business coaches/ consultants patrolling these forums ought to start kickin` a share up to you....... Women don`t typically draft BPs, it`s a very male thing to do.  I know many successful women-owned businesses with no BPs, inlcuding my own! ~;o)

    Your theory runs counter to an age old adage that male drivers know how to get anywhere, anytime without the use of a map or so much as a peep from others inside or outside of the vehicle. Generally, or shall I say overwhelmingly, it is the female that insists on having a clear idea of where they are headed and is lightning quick to yank a road map out of the glove box or play "I need to use the ladies room" only to emerge from the Stop-n`-Rob with a handful of crisp new local and regional road maps.
    I know...this is a little different, it`s business. But so is getting to Grandmas house for Thanksgiving dinner:)BTW - I`m happy to hear your biz is successful!
    Can I clip your hair extensions on to the very little hair I have left on my crown?Regards,
    Colby Fitch
    battered & bruised - young entrepreneur
     
  • Frank630Frank630 subscriber Posts: 2
    Excellent discussion.
     
    There is always a balance between too much planning and not enough planning.
     
    For the majority of new business owners that I have had the privilege of working with, there are a great many details and costs that would go unaccounted for early in the game.
     
    The people on this forum are experienced small and new business owners that can probably "size-up" the strategies - tactics - expenses associated with just about any brick and mortar or e business there is.
     
    For people new to business, it may need to get spelled out in gruesome detail ahead of time, because the business exists no place except in the heads - hopefully.
     
    Unfortunately I have heard of a good many new business owners that abandon their good ideas because the businessplan is too daunting of a task in itself. In this case, use a bullet list of activities to account for the capital and expense outlays necessary.
     
    Also, I find that many new business owners do not have a full realization of how much time they want to work on their businesses a priori. This leads to a lot of grief. This can be headed off early if a business is done.
     
    I always say "the work done in a business plan will be done either before or after the mistakes are made, wouldn`t it be better if it were done before they were made?"
     
    Frank Dobner
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