Startups Without Business Plans Are Expensive Hobbies

Startup Professionals Musings

If you sold your last startup for $800 million, you probably already know how to build a business, and even conservative investors won’t worry about the quality of your next business plan. Most investors tend to think of startups without a plan as expensive hobbies.

The Different Types of Business Plans

Up and Running

Business plans go by many names: Strategic plans, operational plans, internal plans, and many others. Lately, I’ve been focusing on lean business plans. There are also one-page business plans, although those are really more summaries.

Trending Sources

7 Mistakes To Avoid When Writing A Business Plan

YFS Magazine

A business plan is a very important business tool to have as an entrepreneur. When you write your business plan, avoid making these 7 common mistakes. This article 7 Mistakes To Avoid When Writing A Business Plan appeared first in YFS Magazine.

10 Startup Priorities May Negate The Business Plan

Startup Professionals Musings

If you are one of the new age of entrepreneurs who hates the thought of doing a business plan as a first step in starting your new venture you will love this message. In that context, it could be a social enterprise, or even a hobby, and a business plan may not be beneficial.

6 Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Your Restaurant Business Plan

Up and Running

If you’re serious about opening a restaurant, you’ll have to draft up a formal and accurate business plan to pitch to banks, investors, and even potential employees. I won’t lie—writing a formal business plan isn’t exactly a breeze. See Also: Business Planning Guide.

Do This One Thing Before You Write Your Business Plan

Up and Running

So, you’ve been asked to write a business plan. Today, I’m going to walk you through an easier way to get your business plan started, through developing a winning strategy. But first, let’s talk about why you’re writing a business plan.

Business Plans Are An Historical Artifact

Feld Thoughts

This article ( Business Plans Are An Historical Artifact ) first appeared last week in the Wall Street Journal The Accelerators Column , which I’m contributing to on a regular basis. . In 1987 when I started my first company (Feld Technologies), I wrote a business plan for a course at MIT that I was in called 15.375: New Enterprises. I went on to create a company, with my partner Dave Jilk, that bore very little resemblance to that business plan.

Business Planning Makes You More Successful, and We’ve Got the Science to Prove It

Up and Running

Should you spend some time developing a plan for your business, or just dive in and start, figuring things out as you go? There has been plenty of debate on this topic, but no one has pulled together the scientific evidence to determine if planning is worthwhile—until now.

Resources for Entrepreneurs Writing a Business Plan

Up and Running

Writing a business plan can seem intimidating. You’re committing your great idea to paper and fleshing out the details of how you’re actually going to start and grow your business. A one-page pitch is a simple overview of your business.

How to Write a Business Plan

Up and Running

You’ve reviewed what a business plan is , and why you need one to start and grow your business. It’s time to dig into the process of actually writing a business plan. First, a few must-follow rules for writing a business plan. > Financial Plan.

A Perspective On When A Business Plan Adds Value

Startup Professionals Musings

As a startup mentor and investor, I am approached regularly by aspiring entrepreneurs who assert that business plans are a waste of time. They cite sources like the BusinessWeek story, “ Real Entrepreneurs Don’t Write Business Plans ” and this Forbes article.

An Overview of Lean Business Planning

Up and Running

A lean business plan does what every business owner and aspiring startup needs to manage strategy, tactics, execution, and essential business numbers. It’s a set of ideas that started about 70 years ago, revolving around PDCA: plan-do-check-adjust.

The Management Magic of Business Planning

Up and Running

True story: As my software business began to grow, as we went from two employees to five, then 10, I discovered how hard real management is with startups and small business that grow organically. See Also An Overview of Lean Business Planning.

Why Startup Product Plans Make Poor Business Plans

Startup Professionals Musings

Most technical entrepreneurs I know demand the discipline of a product specification or plan, and then assume that their great product will drive a great business. In reality, you need both, to clarify for yourself and team that you have a viable business solution.

What Type of Business Plan Do I Need?

Up and Running

Unsure what kind of business plan you need? And also, what real business owners want—lean business plans for better management. In this article, we’re going to help you figure out which plan is the one for you. All businesses start with a lean plan.

Developing a Business Plan for Strategic Growth

Up and Running

The business plan for strategic growth is one of my favorites because it’s about core business decisions, steps, metrics, and making things happen. It matches my vision of business planning as ongoing management and steering a business.

Formatting a Business Plan: Best Practices

Up and Running

Your business plan should accomplish certain goals: raise money, guide your team, and set strategies for growth. The format of your business plan will help you achieve these goals, so it’s important to think about the plan’s structure as you build it.

These 10 Key Elements Make a Business Plan Fundable

Gust

People ask me if they really need ANY business plan, unless they are looking for an outside investor. In fact, a business plan is needed more by you than investors, as the blueprint for your company, team communication, and progress metrics. Explain the business model.

How to Write a Nonprofit Business Plan

Up and Running

Starting and running a nonprofit is an exhilarating experience, but it also requires thoughtful planning and execution to be successful. Nonprofit organizations share many overlapping needs with traditional for-profit ventures, including the need for a good business plan.

Is business planning pointless?

Up and Running

It’s a common refrain these days, voiced by “experts” and busy entrepreneurs: business plans and business planning are pointless. There’s clearly no point in planning… On the surface, it’s easy to agree. Business Planning

How to Write the Competition Section of Your Business Plan

Up and Running

No matter how new your business, you do have competition. What if I don’t think my business has any competition? Never suggest to an investor that you don’t have competition—not in your formal plan, not in your pitch, and not in any summary. Every good business has competition.

What Should You Do When An Investor Asks You For A Business Plan?

Ask The VC

Dan Shapiro has an excellent post up titled What to do when an investor asks you for your business plan. In the section where we discuss business plans, we say: “We haven’t read a business plan in over 20 years. However, realize that some VCs care a lot about seeing a business plan, regardless of the current view by many people that a business plan is an obsolete document.&#. Business Plan business plan fundraising

These 10 Key Elements Make a Business Plan Fundable

Startup Professionals Musings

People ask me if they really need ANY business plan, unless they are looking for an outside investor. In fact, a business plan is needed more by you than investors, as the blueprint for your company, team communication, and progress metrics. Explain the business model.

10 Tips to the Simplest But Effective Business Plan

Startup Professionals Musings

If you want people to invest in your idea, then my best advice is first write a business plan, and keep it simple. Don't confuse your business plan with a doctoral thesis or the back of a napkin. Keep the wording and formatting straightforward, and keep the plan short.

Blowing up the Business Plan at U.C. Berkeley Haas Business School

Steve Blank

Berkeley Haas Business School is a leader in entrepreneurship education. It has replaced how to write a business plan with hands-on Lean Startup methods. Berkeley in 2010 to run the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship in the Haas School of Business we were teaching entrepreneurship the same way as when I was a student back in 1995. The final deliverable for that class was a 30-page business plan. We had multiple business plan competitions.

Protect Your Business Plan Like It’s Your Baby—Here’s How

Up and Running

We all want the best for our babies—and our business plans! Nearly all businesses, whether they are small or large, are comprised of intellectual property (IP) and trade secrets, which can serve as the foundation for commercial success.

IP 42

Keep Your Business Plan Succinct Yet Impressive

Startup Professionals Musings

If you want people to invest in your idea, then my best advice is first write a business plan, and keep it simple. Don''t confuse your business plan with a doctoral thesis or the back of a napkin. Keep the wording and formatting straightforward, and keep the plan short.

How to Write the Sales and Marketing Section of Your Business Plan

Up and Running

You have to be flexible about a business plan, so take what you can from what we say here and make sure it applies to your business. In general, a standard business plan includes three parts of the sales and marketing section.

How to Tell Your Company’s History in Your Business Plan

Up and Running

Company history in a business plan? Yes, it’s a good addition to some business plans, but not all. For this article, I want to look at how to decide whether or not you include company history, and if you do, what to include and where to put it in the plan.

How and Where to Write About Technology in Your Business Plan

Up and Running

Often, a business plan introduces a new technology that requires some explaining. On one hand, as a reader of business plans for investors, I see way too many business plans that ask a reader to wade neck-deep through technology to get to the business.

Begin with the End in Mind: Include Your Business Exit in Your Business Plan

Up and Running

While some entrepreneurs think it’s unnecessary to write a business plan—especially if outside financing is not needed—I highly disagree. The disciplined process of business planning helps owners and managers foresee both opportunities and problems before they arise.

What Makes a Successful Business Plan?

Up and Running

Every year, I spend a lot of time reading and judging business plans for business plan competitions. I have read some great plans and some not-so-great plans, but that is how it always turns out in any business plan competition.

6 Business Idea Validation Tactics to Improve Your Business Planning

Up and Running

In this article, I’ll give a quick overview of the best practices for validating your business idea in use today. See Also: Our Best Resources to Help You Find a Business Idea. Idea validation and Lean Planning. See Also: The History of Lean Planning.

How to Develop a Positioning Statement for the Marketing Section of Your Business Plan

Up and Running

Positioning is the essence of marketing strategy, and some would say of all business strategy. It’s about how your business is different from the others. It’s about what your business does for people that other businesses don’t do. See Also: Business Planning Guide.

What Makes a Business Plan More than Just Strategy and Wishful Thinking?

Up and Running

What’s the value of a business plan? How do you build decisions and action into your business plan? What makes a business plan more than just strategy and wishful thinking? See Also How to Develop Your Business Strategy.

How Many Entrepreneurs Really Need a Business Plan?

Startup Professionals Musings

On a regular basis, I am approached by entrepreneurs who assert that business plans are a waste of time. They cite sources like a recent BusinessWeek story, “ Real Entrepreneurs Don’t Write Business Plans ” and this NY Times article.

How to write a one-page business plan

Up and Running

If you’ve been putting off writing your business plan, you are not alone. Writing a business plan can seem like a daunting task and an easy one to avoid. An easy way to start is with a one-page business plan. There’s really not any difference between a “one page business plan” and a good executive summary. This will force you to trim needless words and communicate your business idea clearly and with minimal clutter.

Don’t Just Describe Problem and Solution in Your Business Plan; Make People Care

Up and Running

Many experts recommend introducing your business plan with definitions of the problem that your business solves and the solution your business offers. Every business sale is related to a problem. See Also: What Is a Business Plan?

How aggressive should your business plan be?

The Equity Kicker

He’s got a great business and I think he will get his round away, but he felt that he was losing some potential investors because they weren’t buying into the upside of his story. He’s low-key and likes to present plans he feels sure he can deliver, and he has a tendency to caveat the upside. Since then I’ve been thinking about how aggressive founders should make their business plans. Here are some guidelines: VCs want to back aggressive plans.

How to use your business plan

Up and Running

Bill Payne had a nice post on gust.com late last month titled Using your business plan , in which he lists the different forms or outputs people confuse with a business plan and sets each one into the proper use context.