I’m sorry, but I’m angry this morning.

I just saw another blogger, who knows better, bad-mouthing the business plan as part of the startup; because investors want to know you and see your pitch first, instead of just reading a business plan.

Are the following points not so obvious that I have a right to get angry?

  1. Given the choice, nobody would choose reading a business plan over meeting the people and letting them pitch.
  2. Investors get the choice.
  3. But Jeez! How dumb is it to suggest that you need a pitch presentation instead of a business plan?

Seriously: Don’t confuse having a plan with having a full, formal business plan document. You want a plan. And until you need to produce it as a document, skip the parts that are only for show. Do the core stuff, and leave it on your computer.

Don’t confuse not needing a full formal business plan with not wanting to have a plan. Plan your  business strategy and have some idea of who does what when, how much time and money it costs, how long it takes and how much revenue it generates. Do you really want to do a 20-minute pitch to investors without having a plan? What if they respond with a question? Are you going to say, “I don’t know, but I’ll get back to you on that?”

Tim BerryTim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Bplans.com. Follow him on Twitter @Timberry.