Is A Business Plan A Waste Of Time?

Most successful entrepreneurs I know tell me that business plans are a waste of time. Do you agree?

business plan for startup


1. Yes, MVPs Are Cheap

“Entrepreneurs today can build a minimum viable product (MVP) for less than a thousand dollars. Unless you’re starting an oil exploration business, the need for a business plan is overshadowed by the need for traction. Your MVP is your business plan, and it’s much more fun to create.”

RYAN BUCKLEY, Scripted, Inc.


2. No, They Assess Overall Strategy

“Business plans are a great way to assess your overall strategy from inception of the general idea to sales to the actual implementation. At Star Toilet Paper, we are constantly revamping our sales and manufacturing processes to make them most efficient. Business plans also help us edit our financial forecasts to be sure we are on track for achievable goals.”



3. Yes, Doing Trumps Planning

“When it comes to starting a business, doing is more important than planning. No matter how much market research you do or how well thought through your P&L, until you hit the ground running, your business is still just an idea. Step away from the business plan and run an MVP — and if you need to write a business plan for investors later, at least a lot of the variables will have been tested.”

ALEXIS WOLFER, The Beauty Bean


4. No, Business Plans Help You Grow

“Did I need a business plan to start my company? No. I needed a revenue model and a valuable exchange. But now that my business is taking off, I work on my plan to define a path for my company to grow. If it were two pages, I couldn’t sleep at night. My plan isn’t set in stone. It will evolve every day with enough data to give me confidence that I took the time to poke holes in my ego.”

ROBERT DE, Sky High Party Rentals


5. No, but the Market Changes Constantly

“Plans are static and unchanging. Unfortunately, your business is not. As soon as something changes in the market or with your business, you’ll likely have to throw your plans away. Instead of coming up with detailed plans, focus on planning a few small things to execute on. If outside circumstances change, you can easily pivot your focus to account for the change.”



6. No, Roadmaps Are Important

“I teach entrepreneurship at a local university and tell my students that business plans are very important, just like a map is if you are traveling in a foreign country. However, it’s very important to start the journey. If not, the map (or business plan for that matter) is useless.”



7. No, the Destination Must Be Clear

“No, but what’s the saying? “Men make plans to make God laugh.” Remember that all plans are provisional. Crises and opportunities — both by definition unforeseen — will crop up when you least expect them. As long as you are clear on the destination — your ultimate goal — you feel a real freedom to call an audible along the way.”



8. Yes, Big Business Plans Aren’t Useful

“I’ve never had a big business plan. You know the plans I’m talking about: the ones you write to secure funding with a traditional bank, for example. But I do believe in good business planning. The difference is that I don’t sit and write out everything I need to know today, tomorrow and five years from now, but I do use daily, weekly and monthly plans to keep the business moving forward.”

ERIN BLASKIE, Next Dev Media


9. No, Clarity Will Help You

“Not at all. I wrote both a business plan and a culture plan before I started Sonicbids, and they were both critical to my success. They helped me clarify what I wanted the company to be and how I envisioned going about it. They helped me refine my pitch, hone my strategy, poke holes in my product map and much, much more. Write a plan, but do it for yourself and your own clarity.”

PANOS PANAY, Berklee College of Music


10. Yes, One-Page Plans Work Better

“Traditional business plans try to look out too far and guess on too many things. My preferred alternative is to have a one-page plan that illustrates your one, two and five-year goals on one side. On the other side, you can break down your one-year goal into milestones and action steps to the milestones that you’ll achieve within three months. Then, stop planning and start executing.”



11. Yes, Changes Happen too Often

“I hate business plans because of the fact that we are living in a very fast-paced commerce environment where things change too fast to really have a plan for that far ahead. That being said, putting together a basic business plan is not a waste of time.”




Originally published by StartupCollective.


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