Business Plan is the GPS of the Entreprenuer’s journey.

Business Plan is the GPS of the Entreprenuer’s journey.

Business Plan is  the GPS of the Entreprenuer’s journey.

I presented my 13th Startup Seminar at the New York State’s Business Mentor NY.  This is my 4th year as a mentor, and I have successfully mentored 7 startup entrepreneurs.

As an advocate of the need for every startup to have a business plan, I am always taken aback when someone states that business plan is overrated and that one does not need a business plan to start a business. This was the case when a participant in the seminar commented that he didn’t need a Business Plan when he started his business.

In my part-time gig as a small business and startup coach/consultant, I normally direct my clients to the right answers or solutions to their problems by asking questions rather than tell them what to do.

So, rather than argue the point why this particular entrepreneur needs a business plan, I asked him what he wants to get out of his participation in the seminar. His answer was to learn how he can raise money to help market and grow his business.

Then, I asked him if he thinks someone will invest in his business without him presenting a business plan. He answered, no, and that he knew that but that he didn’t need a business plan when he started.

Anyways,  every startup needs a plan,  it can be a plan written on a tissue paper, a one-page or a comprehensive 30 to 60-page business plan. You need a plan when you started on how you started and how you need to grow your business.

A business plan makes it easier to gauge and manage progress of your startup. Even if you’re funding the startup without outside investors, it makes sense that you know what you are spending your own money on and how successful you’re at every stage of your startup.

Look at a business plan as a guide in your entrepreneurship journey, just as a GPS guides you to your destination. Before the GPS, we were able to get to our destinations but think of the extra time, steps and work we did, we asked someone for directions,  wrote the directions on a piece of paper, bought the street finder (local street maps), got lost and found our way back. We got to the destinations alright, but I did rather have a Global Positioning System (GPS) to guide me.

The entrepreneur must be aware and understanding of every position at every stage of the startup in order to measure the success of the startup and remain competitive. Being able to explain the position of your business in numbers helps you in measuring your business and its position in the marketplace.

While Elevator Pitch might get investors interested and to give you a second look, a business plan tells them how you plan to manage and grow the business in order for investors to recoup their investment.

I wrote about business plans and how to grow your business in my first book on entrepreneurship,  “The Way It Is: Ideas and Solutions for Entrepreneurs for Startups and Growth Companies“, www.thewayitis-thebook.com. The book will enter it’s 10th year anniversary in January 2018. Look out for its second and Nigeria edition in 2018.

In my other book/handout “The Nuts and Bolts of a Business Plan“, I detailed a more comprehensive business plan guide.

From the desk of the HGBSE Founder.