Two nifty takes on planning a business have landed in my inbox in the past week and they both are good enough and flexible enough that I feel I should share them. First up is a new way to go about business planning and rethinks what the business planing should focus on.
The problem with the traditional business plan is that while it is a great *initial* exercise for the entrepreneur, we don’t yet have all the right answers but are expected to pretend we do. More importantly, we see the world differently and need help finding the right answers but the business plan format is not conducive for that.
It’s called the lean startup canvas and propose to not think about the product you’re creating but rather the business model that you’re creating. This may not sound radical but the change in focus can be helpful.
Thinking about the business model as “the product” is quite empowering. It’s not something you back into once you have a product with early traction to pitch investors. Rather, it’s something you can and should be actively building and testing from day one.
The canvas is focused on the business aspect of the plan, but what about living while you’re starting a business. If you read TechCrunch you’ll start to think that the only thing worth doing is working 20-hour days to start a company to sell it to somebody else – the act of creating a business for money is the thing we ought to aspire to.
The reality is that people need a good work-life balance. MetaFilter founder Matt Haughey has an excellent talk on his experience with finding that work-life business. Watch the video below or read his notes on his blog about the talk.