Thursday, January 18, 2007

Business Plan Myths

Many solo entrepreneurs believe certain things about starting their own business that are just not true. Continuing to believe in these myths can lead you down the path to destruction. Here are some of them:

Since Im just working for me, there is no need for a business plan. Would you go on a trip without a plan? Would you get married without a plan? Plans are good. They will help you get focused and stay that way. A good business plan will help you to think through all the aspects of your business and see you on your way to success.

Ill have to invest in expensive software to get a good business plan. Nope. Software may help, but you dont need it. How do you think all those businessmen succeeded before the invention of the computer?

Then Ill need to hire a consultant to write my business plan for me. You are the one who knows what you are going to do. If not, then all the consultants in the world cant help you. Try a coach or mentor to guide you, rather than do things for you.

I should get one of those business plan templates that sound really complicated. Complicated is good, right? Wrong! Simple is better.

I need to have everything perfect before I start. If you wait that long you may never start. Fix it as you go. Just make sure the major points are as good as they can be.

If I dont do everything my business plan says Im a failure. Sometimes detours or changes can be beneficial to your long-distance plan. Dont sweat the small stuff.

My business plan must be typed, at least 50 pages long with a professional looking cover. You can write it in hieroglyphics on the wall so long as you can understand it and access it when you need to.

I only need a business plan if Im getting a loan. Would you invest in any business without seeing a prospectus? Youll be investing in this one! Just do a budget and run it by your accountant.

If I have a business plan in my head - that will do. But can you remember it? Can your friends give you advice by reading your mind? Can your accountant?

Friends and family are all Ill need to give me advice. Could a city man tell a farmer how to run his farm? Only if your family are accountants and market research experts will they be qualified to give the right advice.