Why a Business Plan is a Waste of Time
By Stephanie Staidle
Founder, Right Brain Academy and Right Brain Entrepreneur
I often hear people say that the first step to starting a business is creating a business plan.
But a business plan in the traditional sense — doing market research and looking at numbers— is not necessary unless you are looking for investors or bank loans.
A common mistake made by new entrepreneurs is spending months perfecting a business plan instead of actually starting the business.
It is a form of procrastination. You are sitting in a place of analysis and thinking, when results happen in the doing.
A business plan for 90 percent of businesses, unless it necessitates a brick and mortar foundation, doesn’t need a business plan at first.
To get started all you need is a product or service and a way to take payment. For service-based businesses, you probably don’t have high overhead costs like office space or employees, so you can start from your home.
Here are areas to focus on now:
#1 The very first thing you need to know is WHY – your purpose and that of your company. If you don’t have 100 percent clarity on your why, you may need more support – like a life coach or a purpose guide. Your why is not hiding in a book.
Be sure what you are offering is aligned with you.
Many people choose a business model that seems easy, like multi-level marketing (or MLM). People try selling another company’s product because they don’t have to create the product themselves.
But you still have to sell the product and work hard to create income. It still means putting yourself out there and being vulnerable. It still means taking time out of your busy schedule.
Often aspiring entrepreneurs will join an MLM that isn’t aligned with their authentic needs and wants. They end up self-sabotaging because the MLM isn’t actually what they want to do.
You need to determine if a business is not only a good financial model, but also a good idea for you. Know your authentic needs and wants and be clear about who you are. If you have 5 great ideas, narrow them down to the one that most excites you.
#2 If you already know your why, the next step is to determine WHO. Who is your ideal client?
Knowing who you want to work with takes more than broad brush stroke definitions. If you want to work with mothers over 30 you need to know all of their challenges and characteristics. What problems do they have that you want to solve?
#3 This brings me to the third step. WHAT is the solution you will provide for which your clients will gladly pay you?
Align your WHY with how you want to serve them using your unique gifts. Then find your first clients and practice with them.
These test clients will help you understand how to make your product better and more attractive to future clientele.
Is a business plan a waste of time?
Finally, you have to work on your mindset. This means learning to think creatively, removing limiting beliefs, changing negative behaviors and how you interact with challenges.
Even someone with the perfect business plan might never take action. Fear and self-doubt are what stop them, not the wrong business plan.
So if you have been saying, “I need to finish my business plan first,” stop right now.
Focus on the steps I just shared, and get your first paying clients. Scratch the business plan and get into action!
Stephanie will be joining us for a free webinar title “Building Your Business: From Passion to Profit in 3 Easy Steps.” Register now to learn the three fundamental elements required for building a thriving business you will love.
About the author:
Stephanie Staidle, founder of the Right Brain Academy and the Right Brain Entrepreneur, is a licensed art therapist and business coach who helps adventurous professionals turn their work into play and make money while doing it. With 18 years of experience in psychology, she speaks to audiences on the necessary fundamentals of building a successful business and the science behind achieving results by using an underused resource called ‘right brain thinking’. Stephanie has been widely recognized for her unique methodology and featured as an expert on NBC, Tedx, and SXSW having worked with executives of Google, Morgan Stanley, and American Express. As an avid adventure seeker you can also find her surfing pacific waters or trying a new mystery food in some exotic location.