|| Print ||
|Monday, August 03, 2009|
People often want to know if they really need to draft a business plan. The answer is yes. Creating a business plan is an important exercise for new and established business alike.
And yes, I know you are not looking forward to it. I have written three business plans over the years and I know that writing one is time consuming, a lot of work, and a sometimes frustrating process.
The first two times I did it, I drafted the plans from scratch, using models that I had read in books. They were fine business plans, not great by any means, but serviceable. Certainly the process of writing the business plan was very valuable. Doing so lets you think through the venture carefully, helping you to avoid problems before you encounter them.
My third business plan was easily the best, and the process was the most enjoyable of the three. A main reason is that I wised up and decided to use some software. I researched carefully, spoke with readers and other business experts, and in the end discovered that the very best business planning software happens to come from Oregon. Palo Alto Software in Eugene makes a great product called Business Plan Pro. In fact, in my book The Small Business Bible, the business plan in the appendix is one generated by Business Plan Pro.
Can you start a business and succeed without a business plan? Yes, people do it every day. But the odds of success are higher if you do in fact draft and review your business plan. Just as a pilot needs a flight plan so as to know how he plans on getting from Portland to New York, so too does the entrepreneur need a game plan for how he is going to get from Point A to Point Z. That’s the real purpose of a business plan — it’s for you, no one else.
Sure, banks will want to see it, as will venture capitalists (though don’t expect them to really read much more than the executive summary), but the real juice comes when you figure out what your business will be.
That’s where a piece of software like Business Plan Pro comes in. It will easily and helpfully walk you through the process. If you need a business plan, I say check it out. You will be happy you did.
|A Complex Portrait: Immigration, Jobs and the Economy|
|Woman of Steel|
|Kill the Meeting|
|What I'm Reading|
|Microsoft lays off 3,000 more workers|
|Xiaomi aims to be the world's most valuable private tech firm|
|U.S. economy grew in Q3|
|Apple CEO: 'I'm proud to be gay'|
|Facebook vows aggressive spending|
|Apple Pay faces challenges|
|YouTube considering paid subscriptions|
Is your business ready to join us in the call for action? This opening panel includes Oregon businesses who will discuss why they signed the Oregon Climate Declaration, the investments they are making to reduce carbon emissions, and how their actions are affecting their companies.
Get ready for two days of special events produced with the EPA, Portland Timbers and ISOS before and after the GoGreen Conference on October 16.
Rotary’s Oregon Ethics in Business aims to raise consciousness about business ethics by honoring exceptional companies.
Barran Liebman’s annual employment law seminar is an industry classic.
Business leaders descend on Portland in December for the region’s largest environmental conference and trade show.
More than 400 "Change Makers" will gather to invest in a socially sustainable community.