Archive for November 14, 2007

3 Tips for Entrepreneurs Planning a Startup

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Consulting Business, Startup CEO: Question of the Day, Startups

How do you plan when you are in a small software startup? Big company planning models are not just overkill, they are not appropriate for small firms. Startups need a lightweight planning and development model to thread the narrows between “just do it” and “let’s study the problem a little longer.”

We use an one-page planning model. The one-page business plan is different from traditional models. It’s an ACTION plan. Traditional models are out of date by the time they are finished! That’s one reason why they don’t work. They are also very general, trying to fit everyone, as a result are never really useful.

But a one-page model is not a vehicle for raising money or soliciting investment – that requires a different approach. This is an operating plan. The important thing here is the process of planning, developing a better understanding of the business and the options available.

  • Define and understand yourself, your competencies, your product, and your customer.
  • Identify your immediate, mid-term, and long term goals as well as an action plan to reach them
  • Clarify and clearly state your business model and path to revenue

Here’s 3 tips to make it usable.

  1. Keep it simple and usable.
  2. Stick to one page.
  3. Use bullets to jot down ideas. It is not about writing volumes.

Our Idea to Revenue workbook has individual worksheets. Each key concept is presented in a tight, one-page question-and-answer format. We also guide you through the process in the Idea to Revenue Workshop.

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