Re: Starting a business

Subject: Re: Starting a business
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2001 14:57:43 -0700

Gordon Graham wrote:

> I don't agree with the "first of all, write a plan" advice.

I'm with Gordon on this point.

Like Gordon, I just went ahead and started business. The right
opportunity happened along, so I followed it. I never had a plan, and
having one wouldn't have done me much good, because the situation
developed too quickly, and was based on the needs of clients as much as
on my plans.

Of course, if your goal is world domination, you might need a little
more planning. However, a business plan is primarily used to attract
investors. If you're just incorporating yourself and a friend, why

More importantly, I'm skeptical about business plans for a number of

- Having helped to write a couple of business plans, I'm aware how much
they consist of guess-work and wishful thinking. I know: they're called
"projections," but they don't mean any more because you change the name.

- Although having direction may be useful, it's just as likely that a
plan will lock a company into too rigid a way of doing business, making
it miss other opportunities. I've even seen companies turn down
lucrative opportunites because they weren't in the business plan, and
varying from it might look bad to investors.

- Business plans take effort that might be better spent developing the
business. I've seen a couple of CEOs focus for weeks on fine-tuning the
business plan. I can't help thinking that this effort would be better
spent looking for business or managing the company.

Bruce Byfield 604.421.7177 bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com

"I never had the chance to prove them wrong,
My time was short, the story long,
No, I never had the chance to prove them wrong,
It's always them who write the song."
- OysterBand, "Oxford Girl"


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