Business Plan Process

The business plan is commonly, and erroneous, thought of as the Holy Grail or the template for success. It’s more than often the position you’re pointed if you have an idea and talking to any old-school business person, corporate lifer or banker at least when it comes to getting your business idea off the ground. It’s simply a predictable response: “Sure, email me or send me your business plan, and I’ll look it over.” The truth of the matter is, if you’re seeking advice from these people early on, you’re barking up the wrong tree, because that formal plan you’re going to spend an incredible amount of time putting together is going to do more harm than good. Here are some reasons you’re wasting your time. The formal structure doesn’t apply to the reality of the world we are living in. The traditional business plan is commonly made up of around eight sections: an executive summary, company summary, products and services, market analysis summary, strategy and implantation summary, management summary, financial plan and an appendix. They all have somewhere between three and 10 subsections. This creates a manuscript that runs upwards of 40 pages and takes a very long time to accomplish. Guess what? People as a whole are now accustomed to getting short bursts of information, because our attention spans has shortened over time, so this 40 page epic novel of a plan is going to do a great job of occupying space on your intended reader’s computer or collecting dust on their desk, but it’s not likely to get read.

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