A Better Business Plan

Image credit - Ship N Destroy
There are two main sticking points I can remember from my management 101 class. It was taught by this cranky old man, who had allegedly worked as a taxi driver, movie producer, toll booth attendant, restaurant manager, and some dozen other jobs over the course of his life. How any of that qualified him to teach the class... beats me.
  1. Poor management is almost always the result of poor communication.
  2. A business plan is the most important business thing ever.
Both points are up for debate but let us focus on point 2. The business plan. As I understand it, this is really common advice in business school and to aspiring entrepreneurs. "The first step to starting a business is to sit down and write out a business plan!" "Consult your business plan every day, and revise it along the way as necessary." "A strong business plan is the key to success." "You'll never get outside money without a business plan! Then you'll fail and be homeless." Textbook business plans - executive summary, business concept, features, financial requirements, market strategies and share prediction, SWOT analysis, promotional strategies, sales potential, competitive strength grid, etcetera - give me a migraine. Unless you're explicitly seeking out "old boys' club" capital, I question whether they're relevant at all. Having a solid vision and plan for your business is key, no doubt. But I think that can be developed without a strictly formatted 40+ page document. How many people has the intimidating business plan stopped from being entrepreneurial? It can get someone so caught up  and overwhelmed in planning that they never actually start. "I can't start yet! My business plan isn't done! I haven't finished writing out extensive procedures for product, market, and organizational development!" Inspired by a Mike Cernovich sketch, this is how I hashed out the vision for my business: Ging Gaming Google Drive Ging Gaming Map I thought it was kind of silly at first. I had what seemed like a clear idea of where I wanted to go. What I wanted to build. Why take the time to draw it out? Trust me when I say there's something very satisfying in "putting it down on paper". Don't be surprised if you suddenly come up with some new growth strategies. It's about a 10-minute initial time investment. But even more important than having a simple business plan (as opposed to this monstrosity) is the principle of do something. You'll hear siren songs of wantrepreneur-ship and fantasizing about the future. Don't listen. Just get started - really started beyond planning. It was almost 2 months into my business when I did that caveman map. When you do plan, there's no need for it to be crazy.