Do you need help with your Business Plan?
Entrepreneurship depends upon the Business Plan
If you are not prepared to write your plan, to sweat the details, to crunch the numbers, to test the assumptions, do the due diligence, to fill in all the blanks, and get the help you need, then be prepared to fail. It makes no difference if the plan is for your Life or your organization.
Business Plans are a Myth
But, a Business Plan is not a thing. It is an attitude. Many think of a business plan as a written document used to assist in raising capital. We have written many Business Plans, all of which have been successfully used in capital formation for over $500 million dollars. It was not the plans that raised the capital. It was the process.
What happens when you lose your Business Plan? – Oh Shit!
Imagine you are about to pitch a major investor and your briefcase is stolen (with your plan inside) and your nice suit gets shredded by an elevator door on the way. You are left with nothing but your polka dot underwear and 10 minutes to pitch your plan. What do you do? Punt? Throw up? Or will you succeed nonetheless?
What is the secret to success without a plan?
If you approached Business planning as an attitude of success, instead of as a thing, you would not need your plan. If you have done the hard work, thoroughly prepared and run through the rigorous gauntlet of the planning process, you will “own” your plan. It would be as though you had an invisible “Back Pocket” with your plan always at the ready. You could pitch a group of hard-core investors wearing a tutu if you had to. Because you would not need your plan. You are your plan.
The Business Plan is a Right of Passage
The Business Plan is an icon, a symbol that you have done your homework and that you have some of the intangible attributes that are important in entrepreneurship. It means you are committed rather than just interested. You are passionate instead of curious. You are diligence rather than dabbling. You believe in yourself and your concept. The list is long and deep. The bottom line is that completing a thorough business plan is a right of passage. It separates success and failure.
Your Baby is Ugly™
The business planning process can be a life saver. When someone has a baby, the parents always see the baby as beautiful, and very few people will tell the parents their baby is ugly. Even if they did, the parents would see the baby as beautiful.
This denial is dangerous. For example, it can delay critical care for a child with autism, because the parents are simply in denial, thinking their child is “special”. The same is true for entrepreneurs. Most think their idea is brilliant. And few can be objective enough to see if is “ugly” or not.
A business plan can flush out “ugliness” in a hurry. And if you were thinking of mortgaging your house to pay for your “ugly” plan, you could save your house, maybe your marriage, and your happiness, rather than denying that there could be a “Deal Killer” in your plan. Sometimes a good plan can open your eyes to the truth and help keep you from the path of disaster rather than helping you fund a failure.
Bullshit works both ways in entrepreneurship. There are countless entrepreneurs trying to bullshit their way to success. And there are countless investors and opportunist trying to bullshit entrepreneurs into a ”deal”.
Think of the Business Plan as “Bullshit Repellent”. Part of business planning is figuring out whom to collaborate with. It cuts through entrepreneurial bullshit, allowing entrepreneurs to be prepared for their venture and selective about who they chose to “marry” going forward. Similarly, seasoned investors have good “shit-sniffers”. They can smell bullshit from a distance. A good business plan cuts through bullshit for both the entrepreneur and their stakeholders.
Successful Business Planning
We know the business planning process inside and out. We have written our own for our own ventures, with audiences such as venture capitalists and the best investment banks and philanthropic organizations. And we have assisted clients, who have used our plans to go public.
We teach our clients the business planning process, both the art and the science. We assist in the development and preparation of business pans that serve as operating plans, due diligence inventories, communication documents and the basis for securities offerings as though it were our own and also as though we will be investors.
We have been involved in capital formation with angels, venture capitalists, friends and family, investment banks, public and private partnerships, government funding agencies, project financing and philanthropy and as investors. We also specialize in Alternative Capital Formation™, innovative ways to raise capital.