The short answer is yes, you need a business plan. And many people will tell you that your business plan has to be as perfect as you can get it but still allow for flexibility. Good advice, if you’re going for a loan or venture capital.
In Inc Magazine’s article entitled 7 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting Up, the first mistake they mention is not creating your own detailed business plan.
But that advice is not-so-good, in my opinion, if you’re just starting out. Here’s why:
People often get stuck in analysis paralysis at this stage. Creating a business plan can take a lot of time and energy away from actually getting started with your business.
So, if you’re just starting out in business, stop right there and consider this instead…
Unless you’re already experienced in your business, have successfully brought in money and are now ready to grow by taking your business to the next level, don’t get hung up on the business plan.
Replicate and Duplicate Instead
There’s someone out there already doing what you want to do. Don’t reinvent the wheel!
Find several great examples of the business model you’re planning and start observing what they do and how they do it.
- How do they present their offers?
- What niche market do they fill?
- How broad or narrow are their products or services?
- Do they have a presence online, offline or both?
- How do they attract customers?
- How do they market to them?
- What do their sales messages entail?
- What is their pricing structure?
- Who are they associated with?
When you find a successful business that portrays the same (or similar) one you are planning, their business model and plan can be yours. That’s what I mean when I say replicate and duplicate.
Create your business plan based on other successful models and get the business started. Leave room for flexibility as you learn and grow. Don’t waste time preparing some elaborate business plan before you are experienced in your business. It’s easy to get stuck in the mire of what-ifs and what-nots when you’re inexperienced with processes and details of your actual business.
The system already works for someone else. Use it as your business plan! Do your research. Learn everything you can from them. Become a customer. View the business from every angle you possibly can. There’s no better way to create your business plan than that.
In my upcoming Yes! Energy (The Equation to Do Less and Make More) you’ll find shortcuts to success and it starts with saying Yes!
Just do it. What more do you need than to apply the same systems and strategies as your greatest competitors? The only thing you need to do differently is to find your own uniqueness. Find a way to set yourself apart. Some great ways to do that are:
- Extreme optimism
- Innovative marketing
- Awesome customer service
- Enticing front end sales and relational back end sales
- Building relationships with customers
Go out there and make your mark on the world!