Starting a new business? Don’t bother with a business plan.
Yep, you read that title correctly. EVERYBODY knows that new businesses MUST write a business plan right? You HAVE to write a plan or else you won’t know where you’re going right! Who will respect you? How will you communicate to investors? How will you live? OMG what will you do?!?
Although that rant was a bit tounge-in-cheek, I really do believe that writing a business plan is a colossal waste of time. Business plans are big, time consuming suckers of creativity and energy, and as soon as you finally finish, your ideas have changed, the market has changed and your products have changed. So, you gonna write ANOTHER updated business plan now?
It’s not that I’m against planning, it’s that I’m for speed. Speed of planning, speed of development and speed to market. A business plan is NONE of that but a business strategy is ALL of that! Writing your intentions into well thought through STRATEGIES is far more effective than a full business plan and it’s also more flexible too. A business STRATEGY outlines what you are doing, and more importantly, HOW you plan to do it with CONTINGENCIES if things don’t work as expected. A ‘good enough’ product at market beats a ‘perfect’ product on paper every time!
Keep your strategies aggressive but detailed. Start from where you’d like to be and work backward from there. Review and update continually as things change, but remember, the ultimate goal is to strategize your ACTIONS so you can focus on your #1 job, selling. In fact, I advocate using a SERIES of strategies that collectively illuminate the path to your business objective.
Here are the 8 top strategies you should develop in lieu of a business plan:
- Product development strategy – How are you preparing your product or service to come to market?
- Revenue strategy – How exactly does your product/service make money?
- Brand strategy – How will your core message be viewed, received and conveyed?
- Intellectual Property (IP) strategy – How will you be protected from competitors with similar offerings?
- Operations strategy – How will your daily business activities operate internally?
- Marketing strategy – How will people know you exist and why they should care?
- Technology strategy – How will you use Tech to make your workflow smoother?
Of course there are other strategies but I see these as the big 8. What strategies do you use to make your business run better? Leave a comment below.
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