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Business Plan Paralysis?

nothinglikeitnothinglikeit subscriber Posts: 27
edited March 2007 in Business Planning
I`m not sure if I`m in business plan paralysis right now. I`m working through my rough draft of my first business plan. But I keep thinking about how long this is taking. I know that there`s no problem with taking time to do research. But when is enough enough? When can I start working on my product or service? I`m trying to work on my first game and my business plan at the same time. It helps break the monotony that comes from all the reading and research and other non creative stuff. Did anyone else begin operations with a partial plan? Did this help or hurt you?


  • stevesteve subscriber Posts: 14
    In my opinion a business plan should be like a plan for a road trip and
    not like a blueprint for a house. When you travel you have to be able
    to adapt to unforeseen opportunities and obstacles. When you build a
    house the costs are very high to make changes after startup.

    Unless you have complete knowledge of your chosen industry you`ll learn
    things by starting up that you wouldn`t otherwise learn.
  • GrillCharmerGrillCharmer subscriber Posts: 7
    Are you ever really "done" with a business plan?  Mine certainly was (and is still not) complete.  I`m not sure if it ever will be.  I am constantly adding and omitting stuff.  I think Steve really hit the nail on the head w/ the road map.  You just get a really good idea of where you`re going and how you want to get there and adjust adjust adjust along the way.  Short answer to your question:  Yes, I began with a partial plan, no I do not think it has hurt me.  Best of luck!  
  • realestategirlrealestategirl subscriber Posts: 2
    I am in the same boat... my business plan is taking forever. Again, I agree with the two gentlemen above... it IS a road map. My business plan is constantly changing but it has become my motivation and my road map. We are talking about an extremely long document which as I have seen with friends and family that have been in business a loooong time... their business plan has never been 100% complete and to this day, still is not, however they are in million+ profits per year. Dont let it get you down, fight for what you want. A little tip... drag your business plan EVERYWHERE you go, when an idea strikes or when you meet people who can help, you`ll have it on hand.
  • robertjrobertj subscriber Posts: 0 Member
    I agree with Steve that a "business plan" should be a road map.
    I would add that the term "business plan" often means different things. If you are developing the plan for the purpose of acquiring outside capital (debt or equity) then the plan will need to contain enough detailed information to build creditability with the reader.
    Generally, we guide our clients to develop their business plan as you would a plan for a house - in stages. One does not start by making detailed drawings of the foundation or choose the floor tile. One begins with a "sketch" and adds depth and detail as the plan evolves.
  • OhhBoyOhhBoy subscriber Posts: 5
    I would suggest that you share the plan with someone that is a disinterested party like a SCORE mentor to garner an independent opinion.  This will be of larger importance in the event that you are seeking funding. 
    Good Luck!
  • nothinglikeitnothinglikeit subscriber Posts: 27
    That`s cool everyone. I love what I`m hearing so far. I asked because I wrote a few plans for early business ideas (my new one is an evolution of those previous ones) It was nice to have the fluffy document but looking back at the original plan i was way off. Even laughably so. So I do see that experience helps. My mom has successfully run a home day care service for the better  part of ten years, my dad has been doing carpentry for as long as I remember, neither of them have plans so i guess i could do worse.
  • robertjrobertj subscriber Posts: 0 Member
    Dear Nothing like it:
    From my perspective and experience, it is the "thinking" behind the plan that is the real value.
  • nothinglikeitnothinglikeit subscriber Posts: 27
    very true Robert:Luckily I found an SBDC at the school in which I work. They gave me worksheets and I`ve been reading The Successful Business Plan. There`s tons of BPlan stuff out there but both of these resources are forcing me to answer tough questions and more importantly think of them.
  • xbrandxbrand subscriber Posts: 0
    Look at it this way, will you just go to the airport and get on a plane and hope that it takes yout to hawaii? for the cheapest fare?  Or will you do a little research first to make sure that a) the plane goes where you want and b) it is at a cost that you can affort?
    As mentioned and as you are discovering - business plans are a B****H - and evil, but, a necessary evil.
    KISS - Make your business plan answer the following: a) How long to develop your game, b) how long before you are profitable,  c) how will you sell the game, and d) how will you pay the bills in the meantime.
    If you have thought these out, then, you are 60% done. The other 40%, continue to work on when you have time.
    Something to remember (a saying i have) - If you go to market when you have everything 100%, you missed the boat; If you go to market when you are 20-40% done, then, you will probably fail because you don`t know all the answers and that is what will bite you in the a** and make you fail; but, if you are between 60-80% finished, then, GO GO GO.
    Good Luck.
  • nothinglikeitnothinglikeit subscriber Posts: 27
    OK got a new one for you. I`ve been writing worksheet after worksheet from "The Successful Small Business Plan" By Rhonda Abrams. It`s nice because it forces me to think of every single detail. But every example of a business plan I see is only about 20-30 pages long. I understand that the biz plan should be succint.
    What am I going to do with all these extra details.
  • nothinglikeitnothinglikeit subscriber Posts: 27
    Okay I have a new question.
    If I don`t have a board of advisors yet, should I put a wishlist of potential advisors in the plan? Or is that better left ommited?
  • nothinglikeitnothinglikeit subscriber Posts: 27
    Thanks Maria,
    I am actually done with the first draft of my plan. I finished it about a week ago. I did not keep track of how many hours but it was definately more than a few. It would be interesting to see how much is enough to be considered "sufficient" research. After looking at the plan though I feel even more confident about my business idea.  
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