PSU Insight

Writing Your Business Plan

Why You Gotta Have a Plan!

Operating without a written plan is a formula for disaster. Here's why....

Occasionally someone will protest that they know somebody who has been successful in business and he / she / it has never had a business plan.

That’s true. It can happen. But success without a business plan is almost always due to one of two factors: luck or skill.

Let’s consider skill first. Admittedly, there are some people who are just naturally talented business people. They know what to do by instinct, and they’re almost always right.

There are two dangers here. First, natural business people are rare. Are you sure that you’re a naturally skilled businessperson? If you’re not and you don’t have a business plan, you’re in trouble.

And if you are a natural businessperson, you’re in deeper trouble....

Why? Because you’re going to be “married” to your business forever. Since you’re the only one who knows what needs to be done, you can never sell your business. You can never take a vacation. You can’t even afford to take sick days, because if you don’t run your business, it doesn’t get run!

Fortunately, most ‘naturally talented’ businesspeople already recognize the importance of having a business plan, so they can eventually delegate their activities to others. And if you’re not a naturally skilled businessperson, you definitely need a business plan.

Now businesses can also succeed because of “dumb luck”. (It sounds nicer to call it “being in the right place at the right time.” But if you didn’t plan on your good fortune, then it’s still just luck.) Luck is great! But luck has a nasty habit of running out, oftentimes just when you need it most.

A truly smart businessperson will always capitalize on luck, but never rely on it. And so a truly smart businessperson will always have a written business plan.