The Trouble with Startup Business Plans

The Trouble with Startup Business Plans

Yeah. I know the feeling.

Are you struggling to write a business plan for your startup? I can’t imagine why. It’s not like every second of every minute of every day is already filled to the absolute brim with the details of working at your startup. What’s that you say? It is filled to the brim? Oh.

Of course, your days are crazy insane. Of course, you don’t feel like you have time to write a business plan. And as you missed the step of hiring a business plan consulting company thus, you have made this a lot harder for yourself. Honestly, deep down inside, where you don’t let your business mentors see, you’re not even sure you need a business plan. Right? Admit it. I won’t tell.

I get it. I really do.

There are two problems with startup business plans, and they both start with the belief “I don’t.”

  • I don’t have enough time to tackle this monster task.
  • I don’t need a business plan because I already know my business.

I understand both feelings. I’ve had both feelings.

I also know that both feelings are wrong.

I Know What I Know
Many entrepreneurs guide their businesses on gut instinct alone. For the lucky ones, their instincts are right on. But even if your gut is a virtual business GPS, you still need facts to sell your vision to others. Whether those others are your employees, your partners or your investors.

Money, for example, can often be the largest barrier for those trying to start a business. Either you don’t have enough, or you don’t know what to do with what you’ve got. Often, it’s a good idea to use a certified public accountant, like this CPA in Los Angeles, to help you manage your money. Budgeting is also wise so that you always know how much you have to spend in different areas. Your business plan should reflect this.

Writing a business plan is like a fact-finding mission. These facts become the roadmap for your business. And as much as you think you know your business, I dare you to go through the process of writing a proper business plan and not come out the other side with some new revelations about your company, your competitors, or your industry that changes the way you do business. Common, I dare you.

Time is Not on My Side
The time equation is another story; writing a plan does take some time. But business plans, beasts that they are, can be conquered without having to shut down your entire business while you write it. It can be done. There are tricks you can use, like chunking out the work by sections. You can do the research and financial parts first so that when you write the plan you can really focus on strategy. When it comes to the legal aspects of starting a business startup, it could be another level of struggle. It is always advisable to consult a startup lawyer to ensure your business plan is in compliance with the applicable legal industry requirements. Including the legal aspects of your startup in the executive summary could be a critical element of your business plan.

But however you decide to tackle it, you have to take the first step.

Here’s one way to do that:

Join me and internet entrepreneur Erin Blaskie for a free webinar tomorrow on how to write a startup business plan. (8/18/11 1 pm EST)

We’ll hit the highlights on what you need in your plan and what you don’t need to waste your time on. We’ll shed some light on areas of the plan you may have thought were too daunting to tackle. And I’ll offer a ‘friends of Erin’ discount on my new eBook Startup Business Plans – a Working for Wonka Guide.

It’s a one-hour session with time for Q&A. So bring your Q’s and I’ll plan some A’s. See you then.

Register here: EntrepreneurDIY

If you can’t attend, you can also find free templates and video tutorials in the Resource section of Working for Wonka. Each video covers a different section of the plan, and each video is under 10 minutes long.