The Idea Dude

CONNECTING THE DOTS ONE AT A TIME

Monday, January 30, 2006

Building clocks or telling time

Businessweek has a free online course on writing business plans. I've probably read a couple of hundred in my life-time and wrote a few myself. Nevertheless, I went to have a look. Doesn't hurt to sharpen the knife so to speak. Needed to blow out a couple of bad habits of my own. Not sure if it was synchronicity but I was trading emails a short while ago with a good friend of mine who asked me what should be in a good business plan because he's seen some that were pretty bad or made fantastic promises that simply disappointed when it came to execution.

I told him you really need 3 business plans. Your own, your investors and your employees. That's not implying you will lie in each one but rather the emphasis is different for each one. For your investors it's about market opportunity, showing your competence, the potential upside etc. For your employees, it's about execution, selling the company as a great place to work and grow and be one of the best in the market. But most important and the first one you should write is your own business plan. Why are you doing it? what are your own parameters for success? what are your own drivers? No fluff, just stuff...

So the thoughts that flow from here are...
  • be able to tell the story from your heart, passion and conviction are intangibles that project from you which emotionally help people decide on investing or joining you...
  • be able to tell the story, preparation is key...everyone needs to be able to market themselves and their ideas...
  • plan, because the plan is not the only thing you get out of planning...it is the discipline of thinking through the problem that is indispensible...as the saying goes..."if you fail to plan, you will plan to fail"
  • Make sure you're telling time and not building clocks...think about the value you will bring to your investors, employees, your customers and yourself.

Remember, you can't predict the future but you have to get on the train...a man does what he can until his destiny is revealed...

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