A few years ago, I was pitching a bold idea to our owner. It had the potential to open up a new product line for us and be very profitable. It would also have taken a few years to develop and need a significant investment. She told me it sounded good, but to go write a business plan.
I groaned (inside of course). Couldn’t she just see the value of my idea and give me the money for it?
It was tedious and frustrating. But it forced me to put my thoughts down into words and — more importantly — give some real thought to it. It also forced me to set both revenue and expense goals and think about how we would judge success at each stage.
We went ahead with the project and I’m happy to say it worked out pretty well. If she hadn’t asked me to do the business plan, I would have never had the confidence to move forward in the manner we did. Did we stick to the plan 100%? Not even close! But it forced us to plot our course and revise the plan when we needed to change direction.