Every time I had some idea that I thought would click for a business, I sat and made(or tried to make) a business plan. I did that for 3-4 times till I gave it up totally(ie.....thinking about my own start up).
So I want to ask you guys, whats a better idea: Going ahead with your start up and then making the business plan as it happens or making a business plan first and then starting up?
Even i had same thing's going in my mind some months back, I used to read biography's of successful start ups owners joined several start up guide portals
Some of the things which i learnt
1] I cleared many ideas.,Idea need not be new It can be old just need to have enough muzzle to provide services or product with utmost quality and it should be competitive and cheaper,Because people are always looking for it
2] Should concentrate on profit from day 1 instead of concentrating on building the brand because as profit comes you can reuse the profit for building the brand Instead of first building the brand from your own money
do read paulgraham.com essays it will help you get more dimensions.
Writing is a good thing, it helps you play with your thoughts.I don't know about business plan but for our company I must have written few 100 MBs of content so far .. from company's blue book to what is working and what is not. Time to time I go back and implement it to improve the company.
Here is what I do:
1) Create a dropbox account
2) Arrange the folders (on the go)
3) Write the thoughts (it is not reports, it is your thoughts, so it is unorganized, it is easy to arrange it on doc than inside your mind)
4) Share some part of it with some people (I hate sending emails and then it throws back different versions of docs)
Starting a company needs 3 things, http://community.tiekolkata.com/profiles/blogs/sabeer-bhatia-3-ques...
If you believe in it deeply enough screw the BP and jump in. Always be ready to fail and exit if you realize that the premise of your business is flawed. That's the only thing holding you back. The fear of failure. BUT there is a law of life which says: if you are fixed in your purpose and bring your mind and heart to bear on it. The universe will conspire to help you. Your only limitation is how high you look and how much you want to reach that height.
But you need the BP if you want VC funding. For angel funding you should be passionate enough about your idea to convince the angels. In between all that you need to watch out that they don't screw you over and make you their bonded milking cow.
What you absolutely need to kick in the teeth is fear. The rest of it will fall into place whatever path you decide.
I guess your last point is absolutely spot on. The biggest thing is the fear. Fear of failing at 40yrs age after quitting a good paying job. Need to overcome that first.
Whenever something came to my mind, I put in days on it, spent sleepless nights thinking, researching, planning....... but have not been able to come up with the guts to take the plunge.
Well at 40 you need to be careful. Taking the plunge at this stage in your life is never easy. You'll need a plan B. I think Alok mentioned this in one of his posts. Minimize the risk.
When you are looking for a mentor, a business plan is essential... It helps you to clearly think through the business... When you get super busy during execution, you will find it handy for reference.
I am a self start entrepreneur - started my business around 4 years back w/o any plans or designs or teams whatsoever - if you need my frank suggestion!! here it is :
1) if u have some cushion before starting up your business ( like a job or a rich dad etc !!), then better plan & start..
2) if the above doesn't exist & you have a strong calling to start you own business - just go ahead & do it !! - but a suggestion is that some prep before launching wont hurt !!
Otherwise as they as among my community ( am a gujju!!) - you are either born a businessman or you cant be !
Classic question. and it has two questions in one.
1. Should I start off on my own?
2. How much will I earn, spend - revenues, profits, costs etc...
The answer to the first question is YES if you constantly are going back to the idea of starting up, and one particular idea is just not letting you sleep....Numbers and b plans do not matter.
Making a business plan is optional. It is a good idea if you know enough about the business - if you have been in that line for some time and know the know the numbers. If you do not know the business well enough, start small and experiment.
Business plan is a doc that tells you how will you make money and how you will spend it. Thats all it is.
If you are 40 with a family to feed, put aside 6 months or 12 months of expenses and start off. You owe it to yourself. Thats what I did. I told myself that I cannot die without having tried. Worst case, you will go back to your job, wiser and poorer. Best Case, you get rich beyond your wildest dreams and extremely satisfied.
At 40, I am sure you have been intimated of your mortality. All the best,
Suresh Jayanthi, www.artjini.com is the online presence of my venture.
for me business plan is all the steps to delay the decision of starting.
Just start and take the plunge and welcome to the amazing journey :)
hehe :) its always like egg or chicken u know am the total reflection here, I just never prepare a biz plan and jump into it straight, but I think its always good to have a plan in place as its said" Bring method into madness".
As Abey John put it:
Screw BP, Jump In. Especially if you are doing it for the first time I think there is so much to learn (and unlearn) that it does not really make sense to do the calculations on paper before stepping ahead.