Let’s be honest, the old way of doing business is pretty much over – or at least to such a degree since the rise of social media that’s it’s unrecognizable, so it may as well be over. In the past, if you wanted to start a business, you would have to have a multi-page business plan that almost resembled a book and you’d have to take this to a bank or investor to basically get them to financially back your business, unless of course you had the money for it already.
In any case, the business plan was still a pretty crucial part, and although many people today will still try to argue that if you don’t create a business plan, you’re unprofessional, there’s really no such thing as unprofessional – the word is completely subjective and in the online business world, barriers are being broken everyday that would never have been considered 10 or 20 years ago.
The days of it taking 5 years for a startup to be profitable, for example, are pretty much long gone, and many new business owners are hitting 6 figures in profit in the first year alone these days, so if you’re thinking that you’ll have to struggle for this long and have a massive business plan that probably takes you almost 5 years to write, but that nobody will even read, then you can relax, because it’s simply not necessary anymore.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should just wing it in your business without any kind of plan – planning is never a bad thing, but it just doesn’t need to be the old way of doing things. The thing with planning, though is that you have to be careful with it because it can become an excuse to procrastinate but never actually get any real work done, and then the planning in and of itself actually becomes more overwhelming than just taking action.
Many entrepreneurs and business owners find themselves stuck in planning mode for years and feel so overwhelmed by it that they get nothing done until they decide enough is enough with the planning or they simply give up on their business.
They can spend years planning to start a podcast, launch a product or write a book instead of actually just starting the podcast, launching the product, or writing the book, and then they get frustrated by the fact that newer entrepreneurs who started after them are already surpassing them and making money in their business.
So, if you don’t need a business plan – or at least not in the old sense of the word, then what should you be doing instead?
Of course you should make some simple plans, but as said above – limit this. Block time out in your calendar for planning and make sure you can actually stick to this. It doesn’t matter if it’s 20 minutes or one hour per day, but the important thing is that you spend more time taking action than you do planning to take action.
The way you learn in business is by doing things. So, start writing a blog post instead of trying to plan a content calendar and driving yourself crazy – go out and get clients to see who you like working with instead of spending time on ideal client avatar exercises that just confuse and overwhelm you even more than you already were.
On the other hand, whilst you may not need a business plan, there are definitely things that you will need in your business – especially if you want to keep yourself out of trouble. Things like having the correct privacy policies, terms and conditions, etc on your site, as well as adhering to spam laws if you’re engaging in email marketing, and also having things like insurance which you can find from companies like keyman insurance broker if you’ve never looked into insurance before and aren’t sure where or how to get started.
We hope that this post was helpful in showing you that you really don’t need to make things complicated for yourself in order to have a successful business, and that all the planning in the world won’t amount to anything if you don’t put in the work and take the action needed to actually implement those plans.
The best thing is to just get started by doing something and then keep learning and tweaking things as you go. This is a far better strategy for avoiding overwhelm and confusion when it comes to your business.