No, you’re not crazy, or unfocused, or dumb if you can’t write a business plan (well, maybe we’re just a little crazy…). There are actually many logical reasons and times you’re not going to be able to write a business plan. And here are 5 of them:
1. You’re a Strategist, Not a Planner
Here is the core difference between strategists, and planners: strategists have long term vision. They see the end result (vision) first, and they think more in terms of large milestones/externals goals. Strategists, we’re rare (we actually only make up 12% of the business population). Whereas, planners think in terms of small steps. They’re more concerned with the internal details of execution, because they see the details first. CEO (strategy, external) vs COO (planner, internal) basically. Nothing wrong with either, but the CEO/strategist will need help with details (which means planners need to understand the CEO’s vision before they help plan details); and vice versa. Planners will need help with forming vision/large goals.
2. Your Business is in the Idea Phase
Business Planning Consultants don’t come in until a couple of years after a business has been started in most cases. This depends on what we are calling the actual “start of a business”. They’ll probably object to this, but what the majority of these consultants don’t understand…is an entrepreneur (or business owner) has had on average, a 2 year idea discovery phase beforehand (yes, it takes this long for visions to come together!). The newer the business model (meaning there is no past history), the longer that discovery phase is going to be. Plus, however long they’ve been toying around in their head with an idea.
3. Your Business’s Industry is New
There are new forms of old industries popping up everywhere. Every single time your industry changes, years and thousands of dollars worth of market research becomes completely irrelevant. Industries that you probably won’t be easy writing a business plan for are: technology, digital media, etc. While these don’t “seem” new, you have to consider market research usually runs a few years behind, an entire market boom, fall, etc usually has to take place.
4. Your Business’s Industry is Changing
Industries change. Some change fast. For strategists that have a long term vision, and see the change before it takes place, this doesn’t fit well with business plans. If your business’s industry is changing, or in the process of being disrupted, no matter how much business plan research you’re doing, no matter how much you’re checking your facts…it doesn’t matter! Why? Because you know that’s not whats going to be happening in the industry in 5 years, which is still relevant to your business.
If you’re industry is changing, try putting your business plan’s focus on the opportunity that lies ahead.
5. It’s Time Consuming
Writing a business plan, is very time consuming, & annoying to the point where it seems useless. There are actually online business planning tools now though, like LivePlan Online Business Planning Software, that actually “fill in” alot of the research & details for you. Proved to be a great tool for those strategists out there. You can also compare & track your performance as you go, which I thought was really good. Kind of like “Ok, is this plan really working like I thought it will?”. A good gut check.