Don't just do it - yet.

The last time I blogged about business plans, I explained why planning is a roadmap to success. But if it’s so important, why do so few entrepreneurs take time to draft one?

Scott Shane at Case Western has a few interesting theories, but I think he’s hit on something with what he calls the “Just Do It theory”:

“The Nike motto is very appealing to people eager to get their businesses started. Writing a business plan doesn’t have the action-oriented appeal of hiring employees or setting up shop and is skipped by those in a hurry to get their dreams under way. That action orientation, combined with a heavy dose of optimism, leads many entrepreneurs to skip the writing step.”

Which reminds me of an adorable TV commercial from Ally Bank, in which a smarmy banker gives a girl a bike then tells her she can only ride it within a tiny outlined area on the ground.


For many entrepreneurs who want to just hop on their bikes and share their big ideas with the world, a business plan can feel like that confining rectangle.

Nevertheless, as I mentioned previously and as most business professionals insist, drafting a business plan is a step to seriously consider. Even if your business is well under way, take a step back and write up a plan.

And what should go into your business plan? To start, BizLaunch suggests you should

  1. Prepare a professional-looking Title Page and Table of Contents.

  2. Prepare an Executive Summary. (Makes space for it, but fill it in last.) It highlights the "who, what, where and why" of  your small business.

  3. Write a Business Description. Tell your readers about your product(s)/services(s), your industry, what makes your business unique and why you believe it will succeed. Write a Mission Statement and include yourBusiness Vision.

  4. Draft a Marketing Plan. The most important section of your plan presents your sales objectives, strategies to achieve them and tactics to be engaged. It should also include your Market.

The vital steps to developing your business plan continue here.

You’ll find more great resources for writing your plan here and here.

If you’ve already written a plan, why not leave a comment and let other readers know why you believe it’s important.

By Adam

December 07, 2009