A Bit More About Business Plans
A quick recap. You are an excited Joe or Joan ready to step into the world of entrepreneurship! Not knowing what to expect, you take a guidance from a business-savvy musician and decide to develop a business plan as a starting point to your endeavor. You need just a bit more information to get some momentum going…and here we are. Let’s get back into it!
I will start off by saying that the landscape of business shifted significantly in the last few decades. Therefore, the landscape of the business plan has shifted as well. I will quickly identify the different types of plans, some pros and cons [from this author’s standpoint], and businesses that would benefit from using each type. Let’s start off with the traditional plan.
Traditional. The Cadillac of business plans, the traditional plan – or working plan as some call it – provides a detailed outline of your potential business. Every business benefits with a working plan because it is a working plan; they are created mainly for internal use and designed to adapt and overcome the different issues your business will face. The different facets of your business are all on the table…and should be used as a thermometer as you navigate the ins and outs of the marketplace. The only downside to having a traditional plan…is the length. A detailed outline might not be best to present to possible investors, lenders or clients because they might lose interest without truly understanding the value of your venture. Reading, huh? But there is a solution to this problem.
Presentation. How do you sell your business? Businesses that require capital investments and solvent funds – money for the folks like me – require special care. Anyone in Marketing or Advertising knows that products need to be presented to the consumer in a manner consistent with their desires. Your business is the product and the investors are your consumers in this case – so the presentation business plan sells your product! It outlines the key points of your business venture, using graphics to provide a visual representation of your business plan…which is to say that you need a business plan to condense the information. That’s a whole lot of work, but it will pay off! Still…there should be a way to get the best of both worlds.
Mini plan. Geared towards small business ventures, the Mini plan – or Lean plan – is exactly as its name implies: a quick synopsis of your business in ten pages or less that highlights key points. It can be designed to be visually stimulating with graphics, or short and sweet.
So what type of business plan is best for your venture? In the digital age, a mini plan is always a good way to go – it’s a quick way to organize and streamline your thoughts. Developing a working plan, however, is essential for success in the long run. More to come!