Yes, You Should Write A Business Plan

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Yes, You Should Write a Fucking Business Plan by Jon Westenberg, Founder, Just because you’re a startup, doesn’t mean you won’t need it Even lean companies still need a business plan. The purpose of a business plan is to give everyone involved a clear document that lets them know whether they’ve grown or stagnated, met or missed their goals. It could start out only being a few pages of clear language that expresses the following things: What your product is, and what it does, and why Your strategy for bringing that product to market Details about your revenue mode Goals and milestones The method you’ll use to know if you’ve failed Your customer personas and target market Your financial needs If I can’t express the whole thing in less than 10 pages, that’s my first hint that the business is too fucking complicated. When you first write it, your founding team should all be involved. This is your chance to hash out the differences and discover whether anyone is out of sync. You can work to define what your startup is trying to achieve in terms of product development, growth, business model and culture. If you’re a sole founder, try and pull in some people you trust who can work with you on the plan to challenge your ideas and preconceptions. Creating a plan is a team exercise. Startup team should come together to work on a business plan as a regular, on-going activity. This will prevent anyone from losing track of what they should be doing and what their role is. Once your document has reached its first draft stage, make it the focus of a monthly session to walk through it and ask the following: Are we following this plan? If not, is there a good reason that could show a problem with the plan? What goals have been reached? What’s changed in our strategy? Does the plan still represent our company? A startup is a business, and it needs the same amount of groundwork. Rejecting a business plan, the concept of it, because it’s not in vogue is a short sighted thing to do.
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