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Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

| March 28, 2011 | 8 Comments

Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.

~Pablo Picasso

There are many reasons why a business fails and at times having nothing to do with anything the owner had any control over.  These things are going to happen, that’s just how life goes sometimes.  Business people have tough decisions to make when it comes to running their companies and sometimes those choices cost them dearly.  Hey that’s business and it’s a brutally tough world out there.  Then there are the businesses that crumple due to factors that the owner-operator had total control over.

Deciding not to create and employ a business plan is setting yourself up for failure before you even begin the struggle towards success.  It’s a shame to see a business fall apart that might have had a shot at making it.  Unfortunately this happens every day.  Someone has an idea for a business and they just move forward and start up without any planning.  So many entrepreneurs jump into their endeavors not having done all the due diligence of a proper business plan.  This happens all the time, and most of these attempts fail, and is it really a surprise?  People bury their heads in the sand when it comes to this issue.  In reality it’s hard to believe anyone would deny themselves the opportunity to be successful.  When rolling the dice on a new business venture how does one not utilize the most important aspect of the undertaking?

Opening a business without a business plan is like setting out into the middle of nowhere with no map or supplies and trying to find a specific location you have never been to.  You have an idea where you want to go, but have no idea how to get there or what supplies it will take.  You’re flying blind, how could you possibly expect to find your way.

But the fact of the matter is most entrepreneurs do exactly that.  They are so out of touch with reality and what it will take to make their business work.  Just because you have an idea and the courage to go after it is not enough.  There are a ton of million dollar ideas out there that went nowhere. The individual that can actually make it happen, well that’s the rare breed and a real entrepreneur.  The idea was the easy part, getting the business end of it behind you that is necessary to sustain and grow your seed is crucial. Without having a solid well thought out business plan your chances for success are severely hampered.

The importance of having a business plan can’t be stressed enough.  I could list all the benefits and valuable reasons why you need one and how to create one, but there are hundreds, if not thousands, of websites and books that do a much better job at that than I ever could.  Yes creating one is a daunting task and probably something you will need help in order to do properly, but by no means is it impossible.  The bottom line is, it’s a must.  You simply cannot embark on your journey without.  It’s not necessary to be a business school nerd, there are plenty of resources both online and offline to get this done.  You need many tools to be successful and a business plan is your most important one of all and the foundation of any future success you hope to have.  It is your guide and an illustration of your vision.  Developing your business plan forces you to focus on what you are trying to achieve.  It tells you exactly where your business is going and how you are going to get it there.  If a time comes that you ever need help, a strong business plan can serve you well in persuading others to do so.  If you want to be taken seriously in the business community you better have a plan.  Don’t sell yourself or your idea short; success is the plan, so plan to succeed!

P.S. Don’t forget your mission statement.

Jason Platnick is the co-creator of a website committed to helping entrepreneurs align their ambitions with others experience. The site is breaking new ground in the area of entrepreneurship, and challenging society’s perceptions of business failure. As it grows it will undoubtedly become an invaluable resource for the aspiring entrepreneur.

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Category: Startup Advice

  • Van Baird

    I guy that goes by the name A. Hubert once said, “Parties who want milk should not seat themselves on a stool in a field & hope that the cow will back up to them.”

    A business without a plan is a plan to go out of business. The reasons business owner’s fail is lack of a vision, lack of a plan and procrastination. You have to have a process that enables you to take concrete steps of action to achieve your goals and dreams.

    Most of us that have the type of personality that once we get an idea we just want to run with it and make it happen. It’s so worth the time & energy you save to take a time out and plan your work so you can work your plan.

    Enough cliche’s. I got to go to work.


  • Maxence Karoutchi

    100% agree.. Do you know the Business Model Canvas? I think it’s a great model!

  • Maxence Karoutchi

    100% agree.. Do you know the Business Model Canvas? I think it’s a great model!

  • Kale

    I have to agree however it is possible to overplan as well. I did my MBA thesis on how many managers spend so much time and energy planning that they don’t have any left to take action. Also, you have to always update your plans, because once they become outdated they are worse than no plan at all.

  • Jared O’Toole

    Thanks for the comment Van. Agreed that a plan is vital just to keep you on track. It’s so easy to have a 1000 things to do while starting a business but if you have tangible steps and goals it really helps prioritize and organize the things that need to be done.

  • Virtual office assistant

    Wow, lots to digest. Thanks for generously sharing this useful info. Especially appreciate the acknowledgment that for some businesses, the goal may not be tens of thousands of fans but a few hundred solid ones.