Startups: Internalize Your Business Plan


I had a conversation with a friend of mine the other day about what sets apart a person who wants to start a new business. My friend told a story about someone who wanted to start a new business, but did not know where to turn to formalize a business plan. This person went to one of the big accounting firms in town just to get some ideas. The firm prepared a beautiful business plan and handed him a $20,000 bill for its services.

This business founder read the plan and did not understand a word of it. Frustrated, this person went back to my friend and asked him what he should do. My friend advised him not to pay the bill. My friend said if the business founder could not understand the plan it has no value. Why pay for a business plan having little or no value?

The moral of the story is if you want to build a business plan one of the most important steps you need to take is to internalize it. If you do not own the plan what value is it? Successful business founders must live and die by the plans they create. The founder must understand the plan like the back of his or her hand. If not, the plan has little value.

I encourage people to do their own research before embarking on a new venture. Certainly, I can help lead a person in the right direction, but at the end of the day the business plan belongs to the founder. How many times have you seen someone who cannot express their plan in an elevator pitch? Chances are such people have not internalized their plans. Learn more.

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