You are your business plan's secret weapon
Business plans are good… they can be good. That’s kind of confusing isn’t it? They force you to think deeply about what you are building, how you are going to make it successful, and the direction you are headed.
Early-stage companies are absolutely be in a state of flux (You probably came up with a new growth plan last night when you were laying in bed trying to sleep). That’s why having a one and done plan that you feel you need to stick to won’t work. And as it turns out, most people aren’t going to read pages and pages of text in a traditional business plan, especially in the tech start-up space.
Some alternatives to consider
So, if having a plan forces you to think through things really well, but no one will ever read it in the traditional sense, where does that leave you? There are other ways you can present the same information:
Well-designed slide decks
As a founder and business owner you should be so well versed in your industry and how your company will grow that whatever format your information is in you know it forward and backward. You don’t have to spend the time writing it out in full sentences to be able to defend your idea, though. Just think about who your target audience is and what they expect and want to see and then give them that.
YOU are the key to your business
In the beginning it may seem like a huge feat to get it going — it might even seem impossible. So then you decide you want to hire someone to write it for you. Wrong answer. It does take some effort, but it’s not insurmountable. And I can give you more reasons than one that you should be the first one to take a crack at it.
The good thing about doing it on your own is you’ll be forced to do your due diligence and take a deep look at the viability of your concept. You wouldn’t want to move forward on a business having trusted someone else to do the best, deepest work possible on your plan would you? There’s too much at stake. By you doing it:
Your plan will be stronger because they are your ideas
You’ll be able to defend your ideas better — in person and on paper
You’ll get to know the problem and market on a deeper level
You’ll save money
Assuming you have limited funds and the value you’d get from thinking through your business plan on your own, doing it on your own could be a winner.
An easy way to think about it
To make it easier, think about the different sections independently instead of sitting down to think about an entire “business plan.”
The sections might be:
Strengths and weaknesses
There are different ways you can break up the work. Try this: dedicate a part of each day, for example, to think in depth about one of each of the sections above. This tactic should keep you from getting overwhelmed and give you a solid methodical approach.
A good consultant can help round off your business plan
But… you’re not on your own. Recognizing that you may be in a rut or that there may be things you haven’t considered is admirable! When working on an idea 24/7 it’s hard to look at something objectively so an outsider’s perspective can be helpful. A carefully selected consultant can help show you other angles or think outside boxes you’ve unknowingly created. A consultant is great to guide you in the process or can take what you’ve done and help you get it to the next level. Hiring someone to help you get your idea to the best place possible is a great idea once you’ve given everything a thorough thinking through. As a consultant, I love working with people who work hard and are passionate about what they want to achieve. I love helping people who have already put in a ton of effort and seek solid collaboration to top it off.
Here’s to a great plan!