Posted by: Bryan McArdle | January 5, 2010

GenY Entrepreneur: Ideas

Don’t get bogged down by the unknowns in a business plan, just start, and it will come together on its own.

I say scrap the business plan. They are a huge waste of time and resources in the beginning. Every business book you read will say to start with a business plan, I say end with a business plan. There are so many issues and variables that need to be addressed and researched that to write a business plan in the beginning is near impossible. So why do they say to start there, because you need you ideas put into some sort of organized presentable “plan.” I say you can still achieve the goal just through different means.

Remember that a business isn’t a business until you open the doors. Everything leading up to that point has only been ideas in action. So where we need to start are your ideas. Business plans force you to answer all the questions to your business universe before you even start. The truth is the only way to find these answer is to start and find them out on your way.

Rather than a business plan I would recommend you create a bubble graph. Like the ones you used to create in elementary school to organize your ideas. Start with your business idea in the middle (Restaurant, Design Firm, Landscaping, etc) Draw a line to a bubble with NAME, around that bubble list all your name ideas. Add another bubble from the center and write LOCATION in another bubble. List more questions like, size, frontage, area, lease price, what does your location need, list it here. Add another bubble, INVENTORY, what do you need, list your vendors, products, raw materials… See where this is going. Every idea you have will have a bubble and that will lead to more questions and idea. Like EMPLOYEES, how many, what skills do they need, how much will I pay them, what employee insurance do I need. And Insurance can be its own category.

Once you have a graph with all your ideas and questions in one place they you can start to answer them and start to make your ideas a reality. As you get going and answering these question you can add them to a business plan you might have on the side. I never had a business plan, I know plenty of others who never started with one as well. If you need funding or have to convince other you will have to show them something. But by the time you present it you should be able to start once you get approval.

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