My Shameful Secret
I have something to admit. I never wrote a business plan for Elastic Mind. I never really saw the value in it for me. I started writing something resembling a business plan a few months back but it was only to appease the banks. I haven’t needed their money yet so the business plan sits in a folder, scribbled on, looking sad, in my filing cabinet.
I really wanted to write one. But only because I thought I ‘should’ as I was told over and over in business school (Wilfrid Laurier University) that business plans mattered. Plus, every entrepreneurial website (and I have been to a few) encourages you to write one and banks won’t talk to you if you don’t have one.
Business Plans, Are They Your Friend?
But putting the need for a loan or line of credit aside, is there value in them? I’d say no, at least in the traditional sense. I never understood the point of spending countless hours planning something out that will only change and shift and likely never resemble the original plan in the first place. What I do understand is having a vision and goal for your company and following it.
Create a Non-Traditional Business Plan
Since I usually feel alone in a lot of my views, I get happy when I find a like-minded individual. Wise Bread argues that you can create the non-traditional business plan you need by answering 4 questions.
- What is your product or service?
- Who are your customers?
- When will things get done?
- When are bills due and when do you get paid?
If you can answer those questions, you’ve got all the ‘business plan’ you need. At least until you start knocking at the bank’s door. And even then, they should have a business plan template that you can fill out. No need to spend money on business plan software or a business plan writer.