Today, in fact early this morning while I was doing my early morning reading before going off to my 9-5 J.O.B, I came across Nail Patels post, “Why Entrepreneurs shouldn’t Write Business Plans” and it made me to wonder about my life and all I have been thought. What would I have become if I don’t make plans for my life from time to time? I mean, that’s what we are thought in school and that’s what’s generally accepted right?
Okay, I know and understand the need for you not to be a conformist as it has been noted that most times when people break out of that iron cast way of thinking or looking at life they generally and in most cases achieve extraordinary things but I wonder if the case is true in all phases and aspects of our lives.
Having a business plan is in line with your vision for your business or company, except you don’t call what you are doing a business and you are just having fun, if it’s a business you must have a vision for it and that leads to plans and strategies to achieve that vision. I have never seen anyone putting up a building without the architectural plan; even expectant mothers have to prepare for the coming of the baby.
Going through his post I can’t help but admit he does have a point but let’s look into his augments and see what we can learn from it
Business Plans does not equate to funding
Let’s face it, except the venture capitalist (that’s what I call them) is Santa Claus or you uncle, you will never get a dime from anybody. It doesn’t make sense for you to ask somebody to invest in your idea when you are not clear how much you will make in say 5years time for instance, or what you will be doing and how you will be doing those things till you make that projected sum of money. This is like building castles in the sky. And if it were me, you won’t get cent from me. If his friends did get any money, believe me people that funded those projects will be relatives and friends of theirs, if they are not, then those very individuals are no investor and doesn’t know what to do with their money.
You can’t Predict the Future
Here, he argues that there is no need to plan for the future, and that you can’t account for everything and so on and on, hello!! Sure, that’s right no one can predict the future and no one can account for every aspect of their business in future but that’s precisely the point of writing a business plan.
Your business plan checks and reduces the amount of grey areas you will encounter in the future when running your business. Moreover, business plans are meant to be reviewed and updated with changing business climate, in fact, the business plan lets you see clearly things that have changed and those that need to be worked on. If he is having “some measure” of luck with his business now, I simply attribute that to luck and it will be difficult for him to achieve a kind of roaring success that we see in the tabloids from time to time.
Time is Money
Again he argues that the time spent on writing business a plan is better spent on working and running your business. No doubt about that, Time is Money and writing a business plane is no child’s play, but the time you spend on your business plan will pay off in timely and greater successes in your business. It might not be apparent at the moment but over a long term you will be better off writing a business plan.
The Business World has changed
Here, he says that one shouldn’t spend time on things that are out of date and old. Well, frankly this doesn’t make sense, is he talking about the way business plans are written or the medium through which they are produced? And frankly, I do agree with him, the way business plans are written these days are not the way they were written years back, for one thing, venture capitalist are more careful who they give their money to these days, no one would want to give money to any shit head who will lose it the next second, I wouldn’t, so they would want to see your track record, how you want to achieve whatever you need the money for including the steps and what your PLANS are should anything go horribly wrong.
Not only that, the tech guys have come up with software’s and programs that you can use to put together a business plan and you can type that on you text document an d save it on your computer, so I wouldn’t know what he is actually talking about here.
Besides, one of the reasons why we write business plans is for when unexpected things happen, so you know where you are, where you are coming from to better know how to dig yourself out from the mess.
As for these words from Steve Rappaport,
Many successful businesses today would not withstand academic scrutiny. A perfect example is the company Red Bull. There are so many holes in the plan without the 20/20 hindsight. I can imagine what would have been the comments — didn’t we do this in the 80’s as “jolt cola” or “entrenched drink competitors will crush you if it ever becomes popular.” I think a plan is good, but serendipity and opening the business up for opportunities can be even better. In other words, diverting from the plan. Red Bull’s initial aim was a drink for long-haul truck drivers.
I have this to say, for the fact that some businesses that have business plans fail those not mean that business plans are no more relevant now, in fact they are more relevant now than ever before. Do you know why, because of that same reason that times have changed, the competition is tougher now than a few years back and people are more careful who they give their money to these days.
Another truth that we all should note is that having a business plan is not a guarantee that your business will fly but it makes better business sense and reduces the chance for failure, and again, it’s simply a way to get you from point A to point B.
I love the Nike theory of “just do it” , yes there are times when a sort of desperate measure is needed for desperate times or when over preparation becomes just too much, but at the long run when all the dusts settle and you are back to planet earth, you still need to put bits and pieces together , take stock and ask yourself what’s next or where you are going from here now, that’s when you will realize that you need a business plan otherwise the next phase of you business will never take off.
For more on how to write a business plan, read-
1-Adarsh Thampy of conversionchamp.com
2- Canada Business Network
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