Does your startup require a business plan?
Is it worth it for a startup to invest in writing a business plan? Or is it okay to just go with the ‘flow’? I prefer the former rather than the latter. Planning is an essential process for any individual or business with the objective of attaining success in their pursuits. Planning helps with identifying resources, seeing the challenges and how they can best be solved. We always have a plan, well, until things go sideways and we are forced to improvise. The reality is planning gives you a head start. Even though there are times that your plan won’t go as intended, you’ll have a better chance of dealing with issues quickly compared to someone without one.
The Learn By Doing Approach
Regardless of the amount of time spent planning we must acknowledge that it’s not always that our plans go as intended. In fact, there are times when we might be forced to abandon our plans altogether. The learn by doing approach is centered on the fact that one might spend hours writing a business plan that may not serve any purpose at all. Instead, it advocates for acting, improvising and pivoting. A study done on 116 new ventures revealed that there was no difference in performance between a business that had a plan and one that didn’t. It further revealed that unless an entrepreneur intends to seek funding, then writing a detailed business plan would add no value to the venture.
Purposive Planning Approach
The goal of writing a business plan is to map out the road that you want your business to take. This implies identifying opportunities, organizing and directing your business to the path you want it to take. A business plan helps startups establish where they are at now, where they are headed and how they intend to get there. This is the principle behind which this approach is based on. For a startup that requires funding, the business plan will be vital in guiding investors make their decision.
Also read: How to Convince Investors to Back Your Idea
At the end of the day, your primary goal is to see your startup become a success. The approach taken by one business may not necessarily work for another, as they say, “one man’s meat is another man’s poison.” Each venture needs to create their own path and their own story!
Therefore, stating that a startup with a business plan will emerge a success compared to one without would be misleading. Some of the most successful companies today never had a business plan, in fact, all they had was a scribble on the back of a napkin.
It all depends on the strategy you want to take, as long as it gets your business to the point you want it to be. However, success can only be truly realized when a startup takes time to plan the way forward. Although you may not always stick to the plan, the goal is to always be prepare
What You Need To Know About Having a Business Plan
If you decide that you need a business plan or have potential investors interested in your venture, then you’ll have to put in some work into preparing one. A good business plan takes effort and resources. If necessary, you can hire business plan writing services just as you hire a certified resume writer for the perfect resume. You can also employ software that can guide you in writing.
A poorly written plan will be as good as not having one, therefore to ensure that your plan is up to the standard it must fulfill certain aspects:
- Have a target market in mind and tailor your plan accordingly, that also means
- understanding the demographics
- Financial data is a big part of your plan – it’s advisable to include industry stats
- Ensure that your business plan highlights precisely what your startup offers the solutions it’s offering particularly
- Have realistic, workable and achievable goals. It’s important to maintain perspective, a factor that lacks in the majority of business plans.
- Prove to your readers that your idea is worth their time
- A business plan despite being technical it’s not a must that it be boring, make it as interesting as possible.
- Have a flexible business plan; the reality is things don’t always go as planned and we may have to improvise from time to time.
Also read: How To A Start A Business
Insisting that your startup requires a business plan wouldn’t be appropriate, primarily because each venture have their own strengths and weaknesses. Having a business plan isn’t a guarantee of success but rather how you follow through with it. Determining the needs of your business will dictate whether you’ll require having a business plan.
A good example is when a startup needs funding. To impress investors and boost their confidence in your venture, a business plan will be necessary. If you’re okay the ‘learn by doing’ approach, and are confident that it will lead you to success, then that’s precisely what you should do. Getting organized and planning, in general, gives an upper hand in any situation. Therefore, as a startup, chances are that you’ll face numerous challenges and having a business plan may be the best guide to exploiting resources at your disposal.
Having a business plan is not a guarantee of success, it puts your startup in a better position to maximize the available resources and exploit existing opportunities. Getting organized and establishing where you are at the present, where you’re going and how to get there is crucial in any business. Business plans are essential particularly for ventures looking for funding. Otherwise, a business without one can perform just as well and be a success as long as the owners have a goal that they are working towards.