Friday, June 14, 2024

the internet seems to keep loving my ideas about business plans!

I've always been open about encouraging people NOT to write business plans - mainly because all too often I meet entrepreneurs who've spent hours and days creating them, not enjoying the process, and crucially not really understanding why they were doing it... (it seems many 'professional' business advisers don't take the time to check that what they're telling you to do is actually the best thing for you to do...

In my experience, most people don't enjoy the process of writing them, and those that have then never actually ever go back to them (they languish in a drawer or a forgotten folder on their laptop).

And there are various research studies that have been published which also find that in most cases, the difference that having a formally written up business plan has on the success of a business is as good as negligible (i.e. no proven benefit). Although interestingly, these studies also find that those who do write plans usually only do so because someone else (a lecturer at College, or business adviser) told them to... What makes the difference on a businesses' success is that they go through some from of planning process (so using a canvas, or set of prompts to think things through, rather than just rush headlong into it all).

Which means that whenever I'm asked to lead workshops, masterclasses, or other sessions aimed at supporting people to develop their business plan, I always open with the critical question "why are you wasting your time writing a business plan, rather than going out and talking to customers or suppliers?".

And I'm encouraged, that when I originally wrote up these ideas on my blog back in 2010, this piece seems to be my most 'evergreen' post: it's not only one of my most popular ever posts by number of views, but also keeps being found and read by people - 

Of interest is that these 'spikes' in interest usually align with the start of a calendar year - the time people are apparently most likely to be thinking about starting their own business, and so searching for inspiration and support for how they might best achieve that dream.

And what this also suggests to me, is that I'm starting to get more interested in the analytics about my blog that I once decried...

Which means that having already started to consider how analytics from my social media channels can offer benefit in helping me understand how I'm creating benefit (as reported in my social impact report on myself), I'm now also starting to look at how the analytics on my blog over time can also offer further insights into my reach and support to other people that I'm not otherwise aware of...  

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