I just read Terry Starbucker’s good post How I Deal With Writer’s Block, which reminds me that I’ve been meaning to post on the impossibility of writer’s block with business planning. If you think writer’s block is relevant in the business planning world, then you don’t understand business planning. Here are some of the reasons why writer’s block and business planning don’t mix:
- It’s not a document. It’s a plan, and if you understand what it’s about then you know it will be reviewed and revised repeatedly. So don’t sweat the wording.
- Skip around. Don’t write the beginning first. Do a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats), or if you don’t like that, do a sales forecast. Save and leave it. Do an expense budget. When you get bogged down at once place, try another.
- Save your plan on your computer. Jump in and out of it often. Review and revise often.
I realize, as I write this, that to some people a business plan is a document developed to support a pitch for a loan or investment. And for them, worrying about wording is more understandable. However, those of you who are thinking that way, I really urge you to step back a bit, breathe deeply, and realize that the only way that document is a one-time thing is if it fails to achieve its goal. If it does communicate your business and you do get that loan, or the investment, then the plan should quickly convert to planning, meaning your living with it, working with it, and changing it constantly.
So yes, if you want to stress about it, wording, spelling, and presentation can have an impact on the first impression you make; but far less than you think. It’s disrespectful to have lots of obvious errors. But your plan does nothing more than communicate what your business is, so don’t think it’s like writing a novel.
Just tell your story. Tell the truth. Keep it short, use bullet points, make it easy to read, and go on to using it to run your business