Every startup needs to have a business plan, whether in a sketchy or detailed form. Fortunately, there are lots of tips on writing a business plan, so much that the problem is no longer that of writing a business plan, but actually getting the business started.
Some would-be founders and entrepreneurs spend months (maybe even years) working on and perfecting their business plans because they want to get every single detail right. They want all the I’s dotted, and all the T’s crossed. They work on this perfect plan for so long and later discover that it has caused them a lot of precious resources – especially time. Here are some things the perfect business plan could cost you.
You could spend months working on the perfect business plan only to find out that the competition has gone way ahead of you, and has probably made an entry into the market while you were waiting for the perfect plan. In the end, even if you do launch as planned, you now look like the imitation even though you had an original idea when you started out.
In business, timing is everything and time is one of the most expensive resources that you may lose while planning your big entry on your perfect business plan.
The earlier post about flexibility in business has said much about being ready to adapt to the realities which you will find in the market. Oftentimes, the service you start out to render could be completely different from what you end up selling in the market. It could be influenced by customer feedback and other market realities. If you have spent months and years working on your perfect business plan, you are more likely to be inflexible and stuck on it. Diverging from a plan you spent so long working on, may not seem wise to you because then it would seem like the entire time spent on it was wasted.
This is another reason you should not spend forever working on the business plan. A lot will change as soon as operations start. A lot of your assumptions will turn out wrong and you will have to make a lot of modifications to keep pushing.
You may never even get started
The world is evolving and new trends are emerging daily. What was true about the consumer’s problem yesterday may no longer be true today. The same solution customers were dying to have yesterday could be the same solution they would despise tomorrow. While working on your business plan, you will keep observing these changes, and probably try modifying your plan to suit them. The frustrating thing is that you will wake up every morning to a new plan, and probably need to update your plan again.
Don’t worry about getting the perfect plan and don’t wait till you get the perfect plan before getting started. So many people wait so long, spend so much time analyzing that they get paralyzed and end up not taking any action. They give up because they can’t figure the perfect plan.
If you are honest to yourself, you can probably remember one business idea you had that you never executed because you kept waiting to plan everything out perfectly. Most people have one or two of such ideas. You will never get started waiting for the perfect plan
The perfect plan could get you stuck. You need to be flexible. The ideal thing is to Plan a little and start. Either ways, you will have to make modifications as you get started and start getting customer feedback. So, why not just get started and get the feedback as soon as possible. You will never have the perfect plan at the start, so start.