In her article “Six Steps to Starting Your Own Business“, Elizabeth Kountze says:

One of the biggest mistakes a young entrepreneur can make is simply failing to write a business plan. There is no other single process that can be more useful in beginning business problem-solving than addressing the risks and thoughtfully forecasting by writing the plan. Don’t fall into the excuse that you have the business plan in your head.

Right on!

I’ll never forget manning our Business Plan Pro booth at eBay Live! a few years ago and a gentleman walked by, took a look at our software and said in a rather scornful tone, “I don’t need that, I have my business plan on a napkin!”

Oh really?

No offense, but that’s not a business plan. That’s an idea. Can a napkin help you keep track of your cash flow? Can a napkin list out your business milestones? Will the napkin be able to grow as your business does? Perhaps he would have been better off with a paper towel.

A Business plan is so much more than just a few pieces of paper with words on it. It’s a map. It’s your sweat and hard work. All your ideas and vision for each level of your business. Don’t relegate it to the back of a napkin.


‘Chelle Parmele
Social Media Marketing Manager
Palo Alto Software

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