Business plans are a waste of time? That’s a dangerous lie. Don’t bother, because nobody’s going to read it anyhow? That’s another lie, because it’s about running your company, not whether somebody else reads your document. The lies matter because they interfere with business planning, which ought to be part of your management. Planning is supposed to be a tool to help you control your own destiny. Instead, many of us don’t plan right because we let some of these lies get in the way.
The list of 10 is included in the video here, a recording of the webinar I gave as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, earlier this week. And what’s more important is that I talk about what you should do, instead of believing the lies, to make business planning part of your business management. The goal isn’t just listing lies: it’s steering your company, managing better, and having a better business. Control your destiny.
Would you take a trip without planning it? Would the plan be a big honking document? Would it matter to you whether anybody else read it? Would having a plan mean you couldn’t change it when a flight got cancelled?
This webinar was sponsored by bplans.com (an entirely free site, which you are on as you read this) and Palo Alto Software, publisher of Business Plan Pro.
(If you don’t see the video, you can click here for the original on YouTube)
[…] PLANS AND LESSONS Tim Berry, the business plan guru, gives us a new video called 10 Lies About Business Plans. Two experts give us 10 ways to thrive in 2011. A blogger […]
As a web developer I find a lot of tech startups are very anti business plan because a business plan often caters to a brick and mortar type of business. So, I wish there was comment on what is good about a traditional business plan for tech businesses like iPhone apps or website services and what about a business plan does not work for these types of businesses.
Nick, re your comment, I’ve spent my whole career in software, Internet, and web apps, and, from that point of view, I can’t imagine any part of this that doesn’t apply to you. I think you just accidentally came up with lie #11: that the benefits of business planning don’t apply to a web app business as much as any other.
I have always found that the business plan is extremly useful not only for the concise documentation of the strategy, but as a driver of discussions by the team that may or may not happen without the formality of a written plan. Composing the plan brings ideas into focus and practically writes the priorities in the business for you as you go. Regardless of funding sources, the plan is a critical element of success. I am just as serious about the action plan goals when it is my funding. Without it, how would you ever determine each step and measure the outcomes?
I mean if you need money from a bank for getting started you will for sure need a business plan. As I started with my business I made this kind of plan but what I totally underestimated where the costs for advertising.
But finally I have to say it helped me and I can recommend to everybody who want to start his own business.