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Can you plan too much when creating a new business?

Business Plan

Photo by Dragan Sutevski

Business PlanDon’t waste too much time on it.

We all know that running a successful business means that you must plan your strategy and refine your tactics. The article 5 Dangerous Business Planning Myths describes that all businesses must plan carefully. Regardless of what business you are in, if you fail to plan you might as well plan to fail.

The problem is that entrepreneurs can often plan too much. Putting too much time and energy into a business plan can actually be dangerous for a couple of reasons.

The Problems of Excessive Planning, as claimed by the author, is that excessive planning is often procrastination in disguise. Entrepreneurs may be nervous to actually begin their startup and want to justify to themselves that they are being productive.

This is an interesting claim but a more practical concern is that we often have too much confidence in our abilities to forecast the future. During my MBA classes I decided to give up my dream of going into finance because I learned that being successful investing in the stock market is usually more about being a lucky guesser than creating brilliant models.

When you are starting your own business you have more control of its destiny than an investor has over the financial markets. Nevertheless, entrepreneurs often make the same mistake of thinking that they know all the answers in the beginning.

Their confidence sometimes goes to such an extreme that they neglect to pay attention to new events, assuming that their plan will work no matter what. This stubbornness clouds their judgment and the ability to recognize that they based those predictions on current information and that new trends make existing plans obsolete.

Many business owners want to rip their hair out as they realize that planning is essential to their business, while at the same time their plans usually can’t work when the time comes to implement them. It doesn’t have to feel hopeless, because the trick to having plans that work is constantly updating them. Updating Your
Business Plan
points out that writing a business plan is a never ending process.

It is important to remember that running a business takes place in a very dynamic environment. You must always remember that the business world does not stand still and you must move even faster if you intend to stay ahead of it.