I recently told a friend and entrepreneur about my Gusset Beard, LLC business planning woes. Business planning requires a tremendous amount of information. That’s its value. I’ve started several business plans and concluded each time that: (1) I’m wasting my time; and (2) I need to start the business in order to get some of the information I need to plan the business.
It turns out my friend concluded the same thing, and took a different approach to planning with his company. They used Guy Kawasaki’s 10-slide pitch deck, as an agile business planning alternative. It’s always great to hear that others had the same thought before me — even better when it means less planning, and killing a few birds with one stone. (You also end up with a current pitch deck, and a good sketch of the business plan you’ll write — if one becomes necessary.)
The deck doesn’t let you off the hook that easy either. You still have to think about the major classes of challenges your business will face, how to meet those challenges, and how to present information about it. However, the deck keeps someone like me (with a preternatural love of depth and thoroughness) from getting mired in the details of every possible contingency.
Nor would a compendious business plan necessarily prove helpful. Entrepreneur and author, Susan Wilson Solovic, in her (great) book It’s Your Biz, describes struggling with an unwieldily business plan until she created a simplified summary of it. As I see it, this deck just cuts out the middle step.
Someday the full business plan may be necessary. Until then, I think I’m going with the pitch deck.
Disclosure: Some of you will also know that Guy Kawasaki recently sent me one of his old business cards from Apple. My judgement may be totally compromised.
Anyone have experience with this? Has Guy’s business card distorted reality beyond hope? Is this a fevered dream induced by too much organic tea and too little sleep? Let me know!