Business Plan For Dummies Book – Lauchlan MacKinnon, Ph.D. Helping professionals in business development through personal coaching. Strategy | Purpose | Leadership | Vision | Value
I’ve selected, bought, and read (as I chose!) the eight best business plan books on Amazon—in this article, I’ll suggest which of these eight best business plan books might work best for you.
Business Plan For Dummies Book
If you don’t want to spend time writing a business plan and are looking for a rationale (for yourself or others) for your decision, Carl Schramm’s Burn The Business Plan is a great starting point for a business plan. Your.
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Schramm says startups are unpredictable and instead of spending a lot of time planning, we need to get out there and start doing things to grow our business. Schramm wrote:
The planning process in startups can be more accurately described as situational decision-making, incompletely informed, timely, initial strategies. The rapid and volatile evolution of events in a startup is so unpredictable that no other type of planning will work. Businesses must make decisions with little or no information, let alone algorithmic analysis of the results of one decision versus another, which in retrospect can prove to be of great strategic importance.
The value and growth of an entrepreneur is in work and learning, so go ahead, do it and learn along the way.
Schramm deeply doubts that writing a business plan really predicts a startup. He gave an example of a competition for a business plan.
Start Us Up: America’s New Business Plan
Consider that Rice University’s business plan competition, or the Super Bowl of that type of competition, often wins $3 million in capital offers from wealthy investors in some years. More than a thousand entrepreneurs applied for the competition, but only forty-four of them were invited to compete in the finals in Houston. By the way, only thirty-five percent of the winners of the “Rice” contest started their own company.
But Schramm is not opposed to planning on his own. In his book, he argues that it is wise to do at least a little research to ensure that the business concept is viable. Otherwise we will go in the wrong direction or waste a lot of time looking for ideas that won’t work.
The opposite of Schramm is the “ritual” of creating a detailed, formal business plan, which includes market research and detailed financial calculations, prepared in detail before starting the business.
According to the Lean Startup philosophy of Eric Ries, Schramm proposes a basic planning process that includes the iterative cycle Vision-Platform-Product-Test-Scale:
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… every startup becomes a platform for developing and testing applications for product development. This is the time when the process of turning an idea into a viable product tests potential customer reactions.
He also suggests implementing a process of setting and forecasting monthly goals and then measuring progress against those monthly plans.
If you want something simple and practical that you can do in a day, Jim Horan’s One Page Business Plan for the Creative Entrepreneur is for you.
The book defines exactly what is meant by each of these terms and provides exercises in each section to help the reader define each one.
Examples Of Company Overviews In A Business Plan
Next, we provide some examples that you can use as inspiration to write your own one-page business plan.
3. If you want a lightweight, flexible, yet scalable approach to “everything that matters” planning, you can (if necessary) provide it to investors.
Tim Berry is the founder of Palo Alto Software, maker of Business Plan Pro, the leading business plan software. He worked as a business planning analyst for several decades.
Berry is moving toward an increasingly flexible business planning philosophy, which he shared in his 2008 books The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan and his 2015 book Artificial Business Planning.
Write Your Business Plan
Berry’s approach to business planning is to start anywhere and do business planning as needed.
A business plan is what you need and only what you need. It can be as simple as a 60-second strategic brief that can be delivered in an elevator. For smaller companies, this could be a control schedule, a milestone chart, a measurement log, or a sales forecast. And as companies grow, so can their plans. Then, when you need a larger plan document, add the necessary additional sections and create the document. But you always have a plan and you never have one.
To plan this iteratively and usefully, Berry suggests you need to be aware of and manage two things:
“Flesh and bones” consists of two components, which together guide the progress of your business.
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You can do minimal planning and know you’re covering the key ideas you need, or dig deeper to address risks and challenges, or create a formal plan for investors or other stakeholders.
Another iterative approach to business planning can be found in the book How to Write a Business Plan by Alex Genadinik.
Genadinik writes from the perspective of a practical, casual entrepreneur who now teaches others to do the same.
Genadinik’s goal in the book is to help anyone write a business plan at any necessary level.
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So he starts with a three-line business plan, moves to a one-page business plan, and then helps people turn it into a full business plan.
Genadinik’s book is suitable for pragmatic and business-oriented entrepreneurs who want to follow the formula of a typical business plan, but without excessive costs and too many details.
4. If you want to make sure that you have thought everything through, or if you want to fully implement your “real” business plan so that it is credible to third parties, such as investors.
Hal Shelton is a mentor at SCORE, an American non-profit organization dedicated to helping entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. As such, Shelton has personally guided more than 1,200 entrepreneurs to launch and grow their businesses.
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In her book, Secrets to Writing a Successful Business Plan, Shelton shares what she learned from teaching 1,200 entrepreneurs how to start a business and write a business plan.
Shelton focuses less on exactly what to include in each section of each plan template and more on the underlying philosophy and mindset of developing an effective business plan.
The most thorough and comprehensive of these business planning books, and if you’re writing a business plan for investors, the book you’ll want to turn to is The Successful Business Plan: Secrets and Strategies by Rhonda Abrams.
The book is full of insights and observations from VC investors like partners at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Bryers.
Business Plan Guide
As you might expect from the title, this is not about writing a business plan. Instead, it’s essentially a business planning book – the kind of research and thinking that underpins a good business plan is roughly aligned with the parts of the business plan that deal with those thinking tools.
From this point of view, it is a useful study of business planning methods. But the strategic analysis tools included are probably beyond the needs of most solopreneurs or startups. This book is more suitable for people developing a business than for starting a business, or for people starting a business in a complex environment that requires careful analysis and research.
Starting a small business and choosing a book from the Dummies series is better than Creating a Business Plan for Dummies by Veechi Curtis, which covers the main steps in writing a typical business plan.
If you’re a “right-brain” creative type of person who prefers to use tools like mind maps or vision boards to develop your business plan, but still want to cover the basics of “proper” planning. The Right Brain Business Plan: A Creative, Visual Roadmap to Success by Jennifer Lee may be the book for you.
Information Technology Management: A Business Plan Enabler: Book 2: Application Of Principles
Did you find this review helpful? If so, let me know in the comments and tell me one thing you liked so I can repeat it in the next review 🙂