Image by adria.richards via FlickrI started reading "Rework" by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. I picked it up because on its front cover it said "Ignore this book at your own peril." - Seth Godin.
Just kidding. I flipped through and it did appear to be written by founders of businesses and not some businessperson who has never built a business before themselves lecturing us on theories and what not. Looked like it was in plain English :)
I started it yesterday and noticed that they basically said "Screw Planning Anything!" (at least that was the feeling I got) and I think to myself, well, I agree that for a start up you do have to do things differently as you go...I think we can all agree that the so-called business plan in the initial phases is like what the authors call business "guesses". Sure. Since we all know that it definitely never goes according to plan with these things. I also agree that it's silly to plan ahead for 5 years because you can't account for all the extraneous factors that will effect your business outcomes.
Here's the other side of the coin.
The business plan should be considered as business thoughts. I use it as a place where I put down my thoughts on the who, what, when, where, how given the current situation. It also makes you think about what you would do if sh*t hit the fan. That's the key word - THINK. If you stick to going through your day-to-day operations without ever THINKING about this how do you figure out your end game and how to get there?
Planning is almost a dirty word for entrepreneurs/starters/doers whatever you want to call start up business founders. Why? We want to be creative, innovative, whatever, that planning gives us the perception it inhibits our creativity. This is why business plans are a pain - because of how we think of planning.
What if I told you that business planning as just taking a piece of paper out and jotting your thoughts down on how to get things done towards a specific goal? Not so hard now is it?