THWUMP: Your 80-page masterpiece plops on the table.
If you are referring to your business plan, you’ve fallen into one or more of the following #entrepreneurfail traps:
- Assuming that quality and quantity are the same thing
- Babbling because you are just not focused on one idea or clearly identified your customer
- Assuming that if it looked like a book, the business plan would sell itself!
- Not realizing your plan won’t stay the same when you actually start launching and executing
- Forgetting that its a constantly changing document that will re-mold itself a million times in the future
In a nutshell, the purpose of a business plan is to succinctly yet thoroughly provide an overview of your product, value proposition, business model, and the steps to get there. Far too many entrepreneurs assume that it is a document to brain-dump every possible marketing strategy and list all possible revenue-generators for your business.
On the surface, a long business plan may seem weighty and powerful, but you should be aiming for a fluff-to-stuff ratio of 0:1. The business plan needs to be actionable and focus on priorities. I’ve mentored some entrants in a business plan competition, and inevitably, the more direct and concisely thought-through business plans signaled a cohesive team and a concrete strategy.
The longer the business plan, the more likely:
- No one is going to read that thing so say good-bye to chances of investment
- Your customer has sailed away on another ship or the needs have change by the time you launch
- A competitive company has already launched by the time you finish the plan
In fact, if you are not seeking immediate investment, we used and liked the one-page business plan by Chris Guillebeau. It has all the key elements, its not overwhelming, and it gives you enough to get started.
Did you create a business plan when you first launched your business? Let us know in the comments below.
This was originally created by #entrepreneurfail. Find out about the stupid things entrepreneurs do by signing up at http://www.entrepreneurfail.com.
Epiphanies strike all the time in the entrepreneurial mind.
I’m sure you’ve felt it. You may be in the shower, about to sleep, or in an awkward social situation and BAM! On the surface you may have a fantastic idea – the answer that all humanity has been waiting for. But then, before you know it, the bubble bursts. This is an example of an #entrepreneurfail.
What happened? You may have done some research and realized that Google/Amazon/[insert any publicly-traded company name here] has already tried and failed at that idea. Or, you may have found that there are just no paying consumers. Or, even worse, you find that there are already 5 copycats in the market, each one undercutting the rest.
An entrepreneur’s dilemma is never about not enough ideas; it’s about filtering the flood of ideas. If you have a great idea, remember what you need instead is a great “problem to solve”. Only then can you find the clients and customers that are willing and able to pay for your products and services. Also, consider scoring your ideas using key criteria such as sustainability, barriers to entry, and competitive threats.
If you are a true entrepreneur, these spurts of idea excitement won’t ever stop. As new ideas crop up, we’ve learned to always do our due diligence, focus on our point of difference, and remember that it’s the execution that really matters.
Have you ever been inspired with an amazing idea, just to be bitten by reality? Tell us about it in the comments below.
This comic and post was adapted from www.entrepreneurfail.com.