DorothyAt40

Member
Do people even create business plans anymore?

Depending on the type of business, perhaps, it could be necessary.
But for the majority of businesses out there - just starting out - you don't.

If anything focus your efforts on:
  • Solving an ACTUAL problem that your customer has
  • Getting it in the hands of your customer
  • Getting them to buy it
I would start there, with the basics.
 

djbaxter

Administrator
If you require financing or are looking to acquire a partner, you will probably need a business plan.
 

PatrickM

Member
As Dwight Eisenhower said "Plans are worthless, but planning is essential". I agree that the traditional 3/5/10 Year corporate Business Plans are meaningless documents.

However, the discipline of a regular and rigorous planning process is vital. For SMB's a good perspective is a vision (a why) and then quarterly (rolling quarterly for rapidly growing businesses) plans for focus on resolving immediate problems or exploiting opportunities.
 

Julia Sta Romana

Top Contributor
Writing a business plan can be intimidating. I've talked to multiple business owners who are terrified at the prospect of writing business plans (usually for business financing) because it's hard to imagine writing down, in a logical sequence, how the business runs.

What I normally recommend is to start with just one page. Start by focusing on just the 4 main components of your business
  1. Marketing
  2. Operations
  3. Finance
  4. Management
Just write a simple overview of the four. You can even put it in bullet points of simple phrases if it helps. You can even draw graphs if you're more comfortable with that. Once you have that, write an executive summary that synthesizes how all four components work together as your business.

And from there, just add details. Explain how your marketing works, how your operations came to be that way, why your finances are like that. Just add a little bit at a time. You don't need to write down everything in one sitting. Just make sure to write a little bit everyday, as much as you can and attach as much information as needed to support your business plan.

Before you know it, you'll have a working business plan. Just edit and format as needed.

And I do recommend that you continue adding to your business plan as your business grows and changes. Having a living document that grows with your business will give you (and anyone who has access to it) better context on where your business is coming from and how it changes for the future.
 

PatrickM

Member
Writing a business plan can be intimidating. I've talked to multiple business owners who are terrified at the prospect of writing business plans (usually for business financing) because it's hard to imagine writing down, in a logical sequence, how the business runs.

Before you know it, you'll have a working business plan. Just edit and format as needed.

And I do recommend that you continue adding to your business plan as your business grows and changes. Having a living document that grows with your business will give you (and anyone who has access to it) better context on where your business is coming from and how it changes for the future.

I agree it can be intimidating and building it step by step is an option - but what's missing in a lot Business Plans is a vision ... a why. The passion and the drive which will positively influence investors or financiers. Most are very boring!!

Also the marketing part is often very 'thin" ... based on opinions rather than facts!

Also once the purpose of the business plan has been achieved then the management should be developing and driving short term (+/- 90 day) targets and plans.
 
Business plan is for only management companies, not for entrepreneur!!

Any amount of planning you do it will not be good enough and what you loose is time and money. Like PatrickM - suggested the WHY is important. Your focus, need to protect your USP and spend max time to improve. Once it reaches to a certain desired results the business itself starts asking for more planning and system.

Think about it!
 
Last edited:
I followed the 7 step business plan model that I found Google, and just made it Google doc style. Nothing fancy, and no special template. I am someone who likes a lot of things specified, points, detailed, everything laid out so that I can jump in later and continually update my progress/vision/ideas without getting mentally lost. That might work for you or you might do better as a generalist with a one page/4 part plan. I think it really comes down to your planning type.
 
Top Bottom