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Summary:

While we’ve challenged the notion that every startup needs a business plan, many new web entrepreneurs still see them as essential. And therein lies a problem: it’s too easy to fall into business plan paralysis, where you get stuck on the writing and never actually launch […]

While we’ve challenged the notion that every startup needs a business plan, many new web entrepreneurs still see them as essential. And therein lies a problem: it’s too easy to fall into business plan paralysis, where you get stuck on the writing and never actually launch into your new work. If you’re in this situation, head over to Wise Bread for their advice on creating a business plan by answering 4 simple questions. If you know what you’re selling, who your customers are, what your timescale is and how the money will flow, you’ve got enough to put together your first plan and move on.

There are actually a multiple parts to some of these questions, but Wise Bread’s approach steers a useful path between not having a plan at all and getting bogged down trying to create ten years of detailed financial projections that you’ll never look at again. If you’ve got an unscratched entrepreneurial itch, it’s worth a look.

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  1. I’ve seen some controversy on other sites regarding the WB post, but mostly it’s due to semantics. Business plans are primarily used to secure funding, and to that end the 4 question plan falls rather short.

    If the goal is to have a simple strategic plan, or guide for business decisions, then the 4 question plan is a great start.

    I think that’s where the paralysis you mentioned comes into play- if a freelancer or small business person isn’t trying to get funding, then there’s no reason to get bogged down in long documents and spreadsheets- but everyone could benefit from even the simplest of strategic planning.

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