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The USELESSNESS OF BUSINESS PLANS

The USELESSNESS OF BUSINESS PLANS

  • Posted By Admin
  • Tags: mentoredcoffee, peterngozinyirongo, business

Yes I said it! Your time is very limited and so is the person you are directing the business plan to. If you had your own money to finance your own business, lets say you want to set up an online business selling a specific product, the most you will do is write a few lines, and most importantly work out a budget.  If you can allow me to tell it as it is, NO ONE reads your business plan, it is a compete waste of time. For the people who are financing you they use it to see if you;        1. You know what you are talking about 2. Determined about what you are talking about. 3. Its what they were taught in school to ask for from you and you can’t blame them 4. For Litigation processes by the funder or corporation partner. So what if there was another way of getting the same results that the business plan is supposed to achieve? Before I share that, from many years of being in business let me tell you  just from one specific project I was driving;


Property Investment Projects


With passion for real estate I had reached a boiling point, I went on in Zambia to conceptualise two housing development estates for two mines that one of them the Zambian governement gave thumbs up to and then I replicated this in 5 African countries. I had a total 10,000 housing units we were looking at developing.  I had to  hire a team of 23 professionals in 3 countries to prepare pre-feasibility studies and for each project I had five sets of documents, each document containing 300-500pages. Part of the team hired was Royal HaskoningDHV, this is a level one status company over a 100 years old with hundreds of offices all over the world. So if you are a funder and asked  me to come for a presentation, you can image how I walked in style with luggage of documents. 


I quickly realised that when we had follow up meetings with some funders and I asked early page contents, the guys hadn’t read the documents. They only did if they were ready to proceed to offer a Term-sheet (Pre-Approving of funds with some conditions attached).  I remember in China when I was meeting their 4th largest bank and presenting to their committee assigned to us, one main guy’s interest was clauses in our presentation that primarily focused on should we proceed to court in the event of a dispute , that was his primary interest. At this point I learned one of the biggest lessons ever in business, never get into any business deal, unless you are sure you will win in court, no matter how sweet it may present itself. I learned that they are corporations all over the world who have a very unique business model that capitalises on taking partners and associates to court/litigation, and they win, sometimes even in partnerships with judges on the back drop, but that’s a whole different topic. 


Only write a business plan if;

  1. The intended recipient is Implicitly clear that they are funding you based on your choke board presentation or executive summary (2-3 tops) and now require detailed information. 
  2. Depending on certain projects that the funders are willing to finance the business plan. Our property projects for instance the cost of the feasibility study/Business plan was in millions of dollars. We directly self financed the pre-feasibilty study which was in hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  3. Self financing your project but still want to appeal to your self ego and you want to feel productive about your business venture. Otherwise a few written points and personal self cashflow projects are sufficient, and this is the substitute to your business plan. 

Too many people don’t start businesses due to the famous business plan. Its boring to do it in most cases anyway,  I don’t blame any one for not ever commencing because of the same. For this I am especially ready to stand in the world court and defend why it is especially useless in most cases.