The 10 Things Your Business Plan Will Never Account For

by Ashley Fern

What is the point of making a business plan? With today’s turbulent times, we are all being thrust into change that we didn’t expect or ask for. Everything in life is ever-changing, so there really is no point in wasting your valuable time creating a structured framework when you could be out testing the waters. You need to be prepared for any and all changes in order to succeed.

How can you truly embrace the creativity that is inherent within start-up companies if you are limited by a plan? You can’t. All you can do is go with the flow and react accordingly, since companies are always experiencing changes in the system, and personnel and policies are generally in flux.

1. Loyalty Is Invaluable

In the world of business, loyalty is everything. Having the ability to trust your team is what will allow your company to flourish. You cannot control every aspect of your business or company, so having trustworthy employees is crucial. How can you ever be truly successful if you have to monitor your employees 24/7? You need to create the best possible team for the best possible results.

2. Loose Lips Sink Ships

It’s all about innovation in business. There are too many products and companies with similar visions. In order to be successful and original, it is best to keep an air of unpredictability around your team. Keep people on their toes and then blow their minds with your finished product. If you are continuously talking about your “plan,” competitors will pick up on this and use your hard work and discoveries to their advantage.

3. You'll eventually learn that making a business plan is a greater waste of time than creating origami.

Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans. You never know what types of opportunities can pass you by while you are emerged in creating a rigid business plan. There is no assurance that a business plan will guarantee success. It is all trial and error in the world of entrepreneurship. As you continue working, you will find things that work and things that don’t work within your company. This is how you garner the best possible outcome.

4. You're selling yourself to investors, not your business plan.

In business, the connections you have and the people you work with can be more influential to investors than the actual product itself. Your product may be innovative, but if you do not present yourself in a way investors will be intrigued by, chances are they will not invest with you. Your product needs to coincide with the values you and your team present.

5. Stick to the plan, but be ready to adapt at every opportunity.

Adaptability is crucial in life, as things can change at any moment in time. The ability to adjust to your surroundings is an invaluable life skill. This proficiency is exceedingly important in the world of business. Resilience in people during tumultuous times allows them to create effective strategies for changing their thinking at a quick pace.

Opportunities come and go rapidly in life, so the more quickly you are able to adapt, the better off you will be. This personal quality facilitates achievement in any and every aspect of business. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. You won't hit projections right away, check your ego and plan to float it.

6. Getting talent is easy, making them perform as a team is the tricky part.

Finding the right combination of people to work together toward a common goal can be difficult. Everyone has different personalities and traits, which makes compatibility complicated. When you do find the right blend of people, the rewards can be endless. There is nothing more rewarding than succeeding alongside people whom you love to work and spend your time with. You want to succeed and you want them right there by your side when you do. What is the point of victory if you can’t share it with others anyway?

7. Use the business plan to keep your goals on paper, not to dictate the pace of your business.

Having a clear, defined goal when embarking on a project is imperative. How can you figure out the best way to reach a destination if you don’t even have that destination recognized? You need to feel out the progress your company is making; this is not something that can be anticipated. Leaning on a business plan can be problematic since times are ever-changing. As long as you know the direction in which you want to head that is all you need.

8. The three most dangerous things to your business will be: expecting to pay yourself anytime soon; poisonous people within the group; too much thinking with not enough doing.

Expectation lies at the root of all heartbreak and disappointment. Managing your expectations is the key to success. While payout is a factor in any business, this should not be your motivator. Succeed because you want to. Find an idea that you are passionate about and see it through to the end. Make sure your team is full of reliable and honest people. As soon as employees start taking away more from the company than they are offering, it is time to cut them loose and send them on their way.

9. While a business plan focuses on attracting investment, sometimes an investor is the worst person you could ever meet

Typically when you start a company, you have a unique vision of where you want to end up. When an investor becomes involved, they may have ideas of their own, since it is their capital at risk. In certain situations, you need to compromise to please the people backing your company. This can become disastrous as your vision begins to reflect someone else’s mental picture.

10. Anyone who tells you "you need a business plan" probably hasn't started a successful business

Many young entrepreneurs had no intention of having a successful business when they started out. Look at Jann Wenner who started Rolling Stone magazine at the young age of 21 when he had just graduated college. John Katzman was just an ordinary tutor before he founded the Princeton Review. Do you really think Mark Zuckerberg anticipated Facebook blowing up the way it has?