(Note: this is the fourth of a 10-part series listing my revised top 10 business planning mistakes. The list goes from 10, the least important, to 1, the most important.) It drives me crazy: I see all those ads for prepackaged business plans, with preposterous claims like “investor-proven” and “guaranteed success” and “just fill in the blanks.” And then there’s that big myth that you can farm out a business plan as if it were soybeans or potatoes, delivered when done. don’t buy a business plan. Build your own. Every business is unique. Your goals, how you define success, your resources, your strategy, your team, your target market, and your business offering are always unique. There’s a post on this blog called Sample Business Plans Suck, a rant about people thinking a sample business plan is anything but just an example to generate ideas and show them what a finished plan looks like. There’s another post on this blog called My Worst-Ever Consulting Engagement, a true story of how three entrepreneurs thought having a business plan was a problem solved, whether they knew what it said or not. So, if you wanted to take a trip, would you hire somebody to plan it for you? Would you buy the trip plan? If you wanted to take up golf or tennis, would you hire somebody to take lessons for you? If you wanted to get in shape, would you buy some diet and exercise?
(Image: Snail Pace/Flickr cc)