In my 35 year career, I have only known a handful of small business owners who have prepared a business plan.
I find this astounding.
You would not leave the house to go shopping without some sort of plan – even if only in your head – about where you are going, where you would look to park the car, what you will wear with one eye on the weather, what you will buy, and how you will pay for it. Without this, how would you know whether to turn right or left at the end of your driveway?
Yet people start their businesses and run them for several years without thinking the journey through! Even worse, some people would read my example of the shopping trip and say “I’m just like that – I have it all in my head, that’s good enough.” Really? You are going to invest thousands and years into your business and you think it’s enough to have a thought kept in your head?
If you own an emerging business, relatively new, maybe 5 or 6 years old or so, and you are finding that you work hard every day but not seeming to get anywhere – if you find that for the last few years you have tried one idea before thinking of another and switching but not getting any co-ordinated growth forwards, how’s that undocumented “thought” working for you?