My recommendation is, if you are starting a business, that yes indeed you do need a business plan. Now, the level of formality of your plan may change with time. Early in the days of your business, you may need a very informal plan. You certainly want to have a clear vision and a dream of where you’re going. You want to know clearly what your business is going to look like in 10 years. How you’re going to be spending your time and how you’re going to be earning your revenue. It is critical that the owner stops and thinks about these types of issues and understands what things look like in the future because not thinking about the future can lead to unintended consequences.
From there, the business plan will start to evolve. If you use the dreams process that I so often talk about, you start with that dream. Then you are related to steps. Then you evaluate how those steps fit together. You adjust those steps to fit together. Then you modify that plan as needed.
In the early days of your business, it will be unrealistic to have a very broad business plan. As the business evolves, you can add formality to the plan. Add additional details. Work out fine points. This will certainly become necessary if you start to approach investors or bring in business partners. The key here is to indeed have plans. Know where you’re going. Know what you’re trying to accomplish. You can modify the formality of it with time, going from the early days where the plan is really just a vision with some steps around it to the later days when the business becomes very, very, systematic and process oriented with a detailed vision and plan of where it’s going.
What’s been your experience with planning? How has planning worked for you? Join us in the comments below and let us know your thoughts and experience.
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This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein. This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances. Each case is unique. Past results do not guarantee future outcomes. This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. Freeimages.com/photographer Andrea Kratzenberg.
About the Author
R. Shawn McBride is the Chief Innovation Officer at McBride For Business, LLC. His signature keynote, The 3 Laws of Empowerment, gives audiences an entertaining look at how they can prepare, plan and protect themselves. You can email R. Shawn McBride or (214) 418-0258.