Trade secrets – a start-up business plan is always wrong

What they don’t tell you about starting a business…

Whatever goes into your business plan pre-start-up is unlikely to happen like that. Unless you can foresee the future, reality tends to get in the way.

There’s a famous military quote ‘no battle plan survives contact with the enemy’ and this applies as much to business plans as battle plans.

A start-up business plan charts 12 months ahead in a linear, orderly fashion (with words and figures hopefully describing parallel journeys) but we know that real life – personal and professional twists and turns – mean that’s unlikely to happen. We say that the business plan should be a ‘living document’ – dynamic and being constantly updated – but I wonder how many really are…

A first business plan is not a promise; it includes figures that are, at best, guesstimates. Predicting the future with no past performance for guidance is incredibly difficult, and the same goes for a new business. After test-trading, and with a year’s actual activity to feed into the plan, the picture for years 2 and 3 will be much clearer.

Which doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write a business plan, see https://enterpriseessentials.wordpress.com/2017/04/28/the-business-plan-paradox

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