13 Damn Good Reasons To Write The Damn Business Plan
Many moons ago in a silly little world far far from where I live in Miami, you could get a big luscious check just for telling a lemming you had a brilliant idea. No more.
You should not make writing a business plan something you must do, but hate to do. Instead, lets get back to why the business plan was created. I'll give you a hint, it was supposed to help you plan, not create a document to satisfy the ego of someone else.
Certainly there are times, when a developer just creates something and puts it out in the world, is able to get some traction and bam, suddenly they think they have a business, but they don’t. You still have an idea of where you are going and an idea of where you will end up, but most of the time you do not have a clue what is going to happen in between and everything else you “knew” about your business was wrong. You need to have an idea of what will happen in between and how you will deal with the possibilities. That's the plan. Yes, business plans are very often off the mark in what they predict, but a plan isn’t meant to be psychic, it is meant to help you plan.
- The plan is a map. If you do not have one, you are likely to get lost if you've never been there before. Getting lost sucks, because you lose time or you are late for where you want to be. Do not be late or lost. Get a plan.
- You will discover stuff that sucks about your idea and can change or eliminate them. You will discover road blocks to your concepts and you will discover many of your assumptions were dead wrong.
- You will discover stuff about your idea that rocks and you'll make it stand out. Sometimes you realize that the thing you thought was good or decent, actually is the cornerstone for your success. Be successful. Write the friggin 'plan.
- You may discover that the entire business idea will be a waste of time - so, do not waste your time
- You will suddenly have amazing ideas once you see the holes and synergies in your concept. You will fill the holes and you'll make the synergies a core component of your strategy.
- It can build teamwork and a common vision. If you have a team work with them to build your plan and help them see how important metrics and planning can be. They still have to plan the marketing, right? They will be planning development, right? So, why wouldn’t you plan the business?
- It seems like writing a business plan will be boring, but this is your business, so it certainly can not be boring. You love your business, right?
- You’ll be forced to figure out a real marketing plan and that is a damn good thing, because if you do not know marketing you do not have a business
- Investors will be more likely to give you money because you look like you know what you are doing. When you finish your plan, you will know more about what you are doing and that's a damn good thing
- You will understand more about the ridiculous world of financials than you ever thought possible, because you will have no choice - that's a good thing ... you'll need it over and over again in the life of your business.
- Forcing yourself to write the plan shows good discipline if you really put it together the right way. Good discipline means an investor can trust you more. You can take it from here.
- You will always make your business better if you truly apply yourself to thinking through the components. Do not phone it in. Dig deep into the what ifs and understand how much money is left at different times as you take specific actions. Its bad to run out of money, so be ready.
- It forces you to set real goals for revenue, customer acquisition, development and more. Goals are critical to success and can be quantifiable or at the least be milestones. If you do not know what you want, then how can you run your company?
Brad Nickel lives and works in Miami, FL. He loves helping startups around the world plan and grow their businesses and succeed.