You don’t need a big, thick ‘formal’ business plan as you get started. “What’s important is doing and thinking,” says Tony Chan, managing partner of Cue Ball (a VC). Build a flexible business plan instead, because things can change along the way. There’s also an alternative to a formal business plan something that is short, sweet, and to the point – it’s called the one day business plan worksheet, should you really want to get something going.
The 5 ways to build your flexible business plan, via Harvard Business Review:
1. Start with your heart.
You got to believe in your idea.
2. Think big, start small and scale fast.
Know when to let it go. At the same token, know when to scale fast.
3. Have a basic framework.
This is the most critical element of any business plan. The framework should connect people, skills, idea, market and business model. In short PIMM.
P = people and skills, see where they fit.
I = idea.
M = model or business model. If you have no clue what type of business model to shoot for, check this “The 10 new business model for this decade.”
M = market. Who are you targeting?
4. Know the trade-offs.
If PIMM is critical, people always trump idea. A team with bad idea is better than B/C team with good idea.
5. Keep it iterative.
In other words, be flexible to change.
There’s more below.