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Does anyone write business plans?

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ChrisGav

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Just curious if anyone actually does this? Seems kind of like a waste of time to me unless you are looking for investors...
 

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Xeon

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No. Maybe 1 - 2 page brief one, but not those "25 - 35 page stuff".
There are so many variables that cannot be determined from the onset that writing stuff like these is just a waste of time. Many things are being assumed in such kinds of plans and we all know the reality is going to be far different.
 

Juan Pimentel

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1 page business plan. Its more a strategy then anything. Its just so i have a clear vision of where im going.
 

Megalodon

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I generally do up a spreadsheet with timelines, dependencies, deadlines. From memory @Andy Black did a really good video on something similar a while back.

And a budget sheet to track expenses and income - you need to know your numbers.

Nothing as formal as a 25 page proposal or plan though. Enough of that nonsense in my day job! :rofl:
 

minivanman

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I don't think I could even write a 25 page business plan on any business I've ever owned! I tried writing a business plan once. I MIGHT have made it to 3/4 a page.... maybe.

I don't need to write my numbers down. I know my numbers in my head for everything. I don't see how anyone does anything without it making numbers sense. That's always what makes my decisions for me.
 

Andy Black

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MattR82

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I had to do a big 30 page one a year ago for a small biz grant thing I was eligible for. Was literally USELESS less than one month later lol.
 

RobertKV

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Just curious if anyone actually does this? Seems kind of like a waste of time to me unless you are looking for investors...
My opinion is, that setting up a startup (if that is what we are talking about) requires SERIOUS planning. But not writing an ordinary business plan. You can quadrupole your chances to win, if you fill in the LEAN CANVAS (modifying it several times, as you pivot or iterate when starting and during growing your startup).
When you have already proven through sales, that your business is scalable and repeatable, than you really have a business, not just a startup. At this phase it will be useful to prepare a formal business plan – and that will be mandatory, if you want to approach investors.
 

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Andy Black

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A line I like is that "The best presentation is in Excel, not Powerpoint". Meaning you write about what's been achieved numbers wise, and project those numbers out. The best presentation is not fancy graphics of what the product would look like in someone's hand, followed by some fancy make-believe pie-charts.
 

Andy Daniels

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I meant like the 25-35 page stuff lol. The "official" business plan
Funny enough, these have actually HURT the progress of my business because I would just end up overthinking everything, get wrapped up in doubt and just quit.

My plan:
  1. Fill a need
  2. Scale
  3. Repeat
 

floridaman

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A few weeks ago, I had coffee with the managing director of one of the top tech accelerators. He meets with 1,000 founders.... PER QUARTER. He said he (and people like him) doesn't even pay attention to business plans. He pays more attention to the team, the track record for the team, how much traction has the idea got so far, is the MVP (minimum viable product) working, etc.

A biz plan can quickly turn into action faking, because nobody can accurately predict the future. I've worked in the tech startup world for the past 10 years, and can absolutely reinforce that business plans get flipped upside down and set on fire as soon as you go to market and start testing.
 

Andy Black

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Andy Black

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A line I like is that "The best presentation is in Excel, not Powerpoint". Meaning you write about what's been achieved numbers wise, and project those numbers out. The best presentation is not fancy graphics of what the product would look like in someone's hand, followed by some fancy make-believe pie-charts.
Which reminds me of yet another favourite line:

"Tell me what you've done and I'll tell you who you are."

... meaning I'd rather hear about what you've done so far than what you're planning on doing in the future.
 

MoreValue

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Things change too fast and so many unexpected events happen when you start executing. Never written one.

It just starts in my head, sometimes I jot some things down on the notes app
 

GoodluckChuck

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2 years into business and I'm now writing what might be considered a business plan.

To most people in this forum a business plan is "something one should do before they start a business."

To me, at this point in my career, a business plan is exactly that, a plan. I can write one now because I have 2 years of data and experience to use to put together a plan moving forward.

It's really helpful to define my market and break the entire business structure into parts and think through how those parts will interact with each other and the customers.

I the real question is always "Why?"

Are you writing a business plan to better organize an existing business like me? Or, are you looking for investors?

Or, are you writing a fiction where you have to make up all the variables because you don't have any data or experience to work with?

Business plans are great if they are based in reality and are intended to be acted upon. Otherwise they are just a waste of time, IMO.
 

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