I’ve decided I need a new top 10 list for business planning mistakes. This isn’t the first I’ve done and I hope not the last either, but it’s a good thing to give these lists a fresh look every so often. And this morning I do a workshop on this topic as part of the Bend Venture Conference in Bend, Oregon; so it seemed like a good time to do it.
I’m doing it like Letterman does, starting with number 10, least important, and counting up to number 1, most important.
No, a business plan isn’t a hurdle you have to get over. That’s just wrong. It’s not a one-time thing. You don’t want to finish your business plan ever. When your business plan is done, your business is done.
A business plan isn’t a thing, like a document, that has lasting value when it’s built. It’s a process. The first plan is the first step in the process. You should review it every month, and revise it as often as your assumptions change.
My first business plan book, written in the late 1990s, carries the title Hurdle: the Book on Business Planning. My bad. Sorry about that. It’s no coincidence that my second one, done two years ago, is The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan.
I still like that first book, although not as much as the more recent one. But I hate its title.