Tuesday, April 29, 2008
So as I said in my first post, on June 12th, 2007, I woke up an entrepreneur.
The big idea is the easy part. Well, it's easy once you dream up the "big idea."
But now I had to start. Tap tap tap.... fingers on keyboard... tap tap tap.... sigh. Now I had to start.
Ah yes! A business plan! Isn't THAT what you are supposed to do? You have a big idea and then you sit down at a computer and you write 25 pages of "business plan" that takes weeks. Because You Need a Business Plan.
So I started a business plan. Got through about three paragraphs. Then I looked online for business plan writers. Which didn't make any sense. Because how can anyone know what you are planning?
So I wrote a fourth paragraph.
Then I read Ladies Who Launch: Embracing Entrepreneurship & Creativity As A Lifestyle, by Victoria Colligan & Beth Schoenfeldt with Amy Swift. And they said that some of the most successful women entrepreneurs never wrote a business plan. They said that women start businesses from the gut, not from an Excel spreadsheet, and that as more and more women start and thrive in their own businesses, the world needed to take a look at what makes these women successful. And it's not a business plan.
But then I had coffee (and the most amazing pastries) with my friend Michael, who is a genius and genuine, and he is a master of business plans. And he gave me an outline for a business plan. The outline was 25 pages. So I wrote about five.
And I never really wrote a full on business plan.
Here's the thing. If I ever need to raise major capital, I'll write one. Because those are the rules of the game. But I believe that as long as you have a basic outline of what you are going to do, why you are doing it, how you are going to do it, and how it will thrive, you'll be ok. For me, the important thing was to start my company rolling and not get mired in "the plan."
Which doesn't mean I don't have a plan. I have pages and pages now, and spreadsheets too. Numbers and data and more numbers and more data. And it changes. Just about every day. Because in technology, the most important thing to be is flexible. The second most important thing to be is focused. The business plan keeps you focused. But truly smart entrepreneurs, in my book, are flexible enough to go with the flow and keep learning and moving and learning and moving.
There is an old Jewish adage: We plan. God laughs.
I hope S/He's not laughing at me. Cause man, that would be a cruel joke.
Posted by Savvy Auntie Melanie Notkin at 11:21 AM