Business plans for small business – essential or irrelevant?

  • lists 27,664 books under the category “Business Plan”
  • Every small business assistance program I’ve come across (SBA, Score, local NJ programs) emphasize the importance of a business plan
  • A Google search for “Business plan writer NJ” brought back 6700 resultsbusiness plan

Surely this all reinforces how important it is to have a business plan – right?

I was lucky enough to take an entrepreneurs’ course before I started my own business through the NJ SEA program. A core component of the course was a section on business plans. Why was I lucky? Because our instructor was very open about these cold hard facts:

  • NOBODY looks at their plan again once written
  • Only banks or other lenders think that they are in any way important in the structure of the a new company
  • It’s much more important to concentrate on making money than making business plans (or making money for someone else who wants to sell you a book or their services)

So, if you have time and spare cash when you are starting up and want to concentrate your mind on where you think your company should be going and how you are going to get there, please feel free and write a business plan. However, if you don’t have the time but are interested in eating and paying the mortgage I’d advise you to ditch the business plan and start your business!

PS – I do understand the whole concept of “failing to plan and planning to fail”, but get your company off the ground first, start making money and then re-address the issue at a later date.

Image: renjith krishnan /

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