To business plan or not to business plan…?

It’s interesting because a few years ago the first thing I would have assumed one does when setting up a company is write a businsess plan.

But recently I’ve been hearing mutterings from various sources that business plans are now outdated and unimportant. Innovations in business design like Business Model Canvas and Steve Blank’s teaching in California among others have led to a recent shift among many to this position. From what I can gather, the crux of the argument is that a start-up business has so many uncertainties and variables to address that a business plan can never predict the reality of what will happen.

I’m writing this blog because I’ve just gone down the route of writing a business plan. It took me a couple of weeks of hard slog and there have been many edits but overall I’ve found the process and the end result very useful for a couple of reasons. Firstly, there a lots of people who live in the world of business plans. They relate to them and understand them and want to see them. By not having a business plan you disconnect yourself from this world. Secondly, I’ve found that by spending the time writing down all my thoughts and assumptions I understand my company much better. I understand why it is a strong idea and I understand what factors might cause it to fail.

In conclusion I’d agree wholeheartedly that a business plan is a not a plan in the sense that you’ll deliver exactly what your proposing. BUT does this make it redundant? Personally, I see my business plan as a comprehensive tool to publicise/sell KenyaWorks to the world. And for this I think it’s great. But feel free to disagree…

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