Short Business Plans

The traditional long business plan was designed for projects requiring millions of dollars with implementation times measured in years. They sought to demonstrate a detailed understanding of all the issues related to the project and, ambitiously, they made predictions about the future performance of the project and the greater world. Traditional business plans were long, detailed and complex.

Unfortunately, they were also required for much smaller projects with much shorter timeframes. For most startups and SMBs (small- and medium-sized businesses) the traditional business plan was an expensive impediment to their innovation and growth. They were ill-suited to the needs of the business and became a drain on management’s time and resources rather than an enabling tool.

Over the past decade or so, and increasingly in the last two years, the short business plan has emerged as an accepted alternative. It is best used for situations requiring shorter time-frames and less money. This fits very nicely with the iterative approach used today by so many businesses and especially the millions of startups and SMBs.

To maximize its effectiveness, the short business plan needs to tell a compelling story. Like all successful business plans it must be rooted in a good idea and buttressed with appropriate research. And it must still touch on the key elements of the traditional business plan but with paragraphs rather than pages of text.

StratPad was designed to help entrepreneurs and SMBs create their short business plan. It provides guidance that stimulates critical thinking about the business concept and then walks the manager through the key business plan questions in a step-by-step fashion. It instantly builds the short business plan along with eight other valuable reports. With StratPad, the business plan can be created in an hour or two rather than days and weeks.

Entrepreneur Magazine added their considerable support for small business plans in their October 2012 issue. And we were glad to see them feature  StratPad in the same article. Nice to know we’re on the right track!

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