Why do i need a plan

    At first I wanted to call this text “Why do I need a business plan”, but why limit yourself? A plan is a plan in Africa, no matter what. The one for business is called a business plan. The one for evacuation is, oddly enough, called the evacuation plan. Etc.

    But the idea of ​​the text did come from an area where business plans are relevant. Often I began to meet with statements that “a business plan, of course, is needed, but specifically in our case it will not bring any benefit because”:

    1. we have too much uncertainty, there will be fortune-telling on coffee grounds;
    2. and so everything is very clear, a plan is a waste of energy.

    I myself also suffered from these cockroaches, but it so happened that from time to time I had to draw up various kinds of plans. And I want to tell you - plans to do are useful and necessary.

    But first…

    When a plan is not needed


    Voluntarily a person can do business only in two cases: when the result is important to him and when the process is important.

    So, if for you the process is more important than the result, then you can score on the plan - have fun. In the case of the leadership of the process, all restrictions that can be imposed on your work automatically disappear, since there is no need to achieve a result - your goal has already been achieved.

    If you, like me, take pleasure in achieving the goal (or don’t get it, but it is NECESSARY), then the question arises of controlling many nuances: spending time, money and other resources, meeting all sorts of criteria and so on. Then we come to the rescue and comes planning.

    What is a plan?


    First, it’s important to understand that a plan does not only consist of a list of items from 1 to 100 that need to be completed in order. Moreover, there are much more important parts in it.

    The goal is the most important element of any plan, for which it is created to achieve. The goal sets the point (or region) in the event space that we want to fall into. In essence, it describes the total vector of efforts that must be made. The more accurately it is formulated (the better we see the goal), the more difficult it will be for us to take actions that lead us away from it.

    Goal Criteria- formal conditions, the fulfillment of which determines our approach to the goal. If the target is a point in multidimensional space, then the criterion is one of the coordinates of this point (or the coordinate interval). The more criteria we can identify and the more accurate they are, the better we see the goal.

    Resources - time, money, employees, friends (yeah!), Bricks in the warehouse - everything that can be used to achieve the goal. It is important to define several sets of resources:

    • all the resources that will be needed to achieve the goal;
    • resources that are originally;
    • resources that we will receive in the process of implementing the plan.

    Risks are what can go wrong. In fact, everything can go wrong, but some troubles tend to happen more often than others. These are best determined in advance and have behavioral options in their case. The simplest example of a risk is a binge of a repair team or a wallet loss when resting abroad.

    The program of action - what is usually called the plan - an ordered list of activities necessary to achieve the goal. It is assumed that if you do as it is written in it, then everything will work out. Actually, it’s not necessary - the program doesn’t just have to be, it should be objective and multivariate, since no one has canceled the risks and limited resources. To do this, we need to conduct ...

    Analysisareas in which we will act, highlighting all of the above. Then form the program so that each next step logically follows from the previous one. In particular, so that at each step we have enough resources to implement the following.

    A useful move in the analysis is to create a model of changes in the amount of resources during the execution of the plan. In a business plan, at least, you should describe the financial model - the calculation of the amount of funds on the balance sheet in each month of the plan.

    It is useful to make several plans for different conditions. Usually they are made by three: optimistic, realistic, pessimistic.

    Why do i need a plan


    The main objective of the plan is to demonstrate that its goal is at least theoretically achievable. It is especially important for startups to remember this - on the way to a great idea often gets no less great mathematics and it turns out that even a super-optimistic plan gives losses for the first 100 years.

    The plan outlines the boundaries of reality in which the achievement of the goal is possible, thereby reducing the search for solutions.

    His second task is to save our time and energy - once thought out and written down, you do not need to think it over and record it again. At least not as often. Without a plan, after completing the next task, you will be planning and re-planning again and again instead of proceeding immediately to the next stage. Having a map of a clear road to the goal, we will not leave it and spend resources on solving problems that unexpectedly seemed important to us.

    Therefore, even a bad plan is better than his absence.

    No plan needed - we have too much uncertainty


    This statement is found most often and it is difficult to argue with his message at first. When you start a new business, with high probability you have almost no reliable information. But is there any?

    Immediately discard the cases of professional restaurant openers and riveters of business card sites - they have clear plans - 100500 cafes have already been opened and 100500 sites have been made. We are interested in situations when there is really no experience.

    Instead of experience, we have knowledge (and the ability to google).

    We can determine the goal and criteria for achieving it. Moreover, “creating a new unique product” is a so-so goal, since its criteria are vague. But “creating a product with a net profit of $ 500 / month in 6 months and $ 10,000 / month in a year” is much better.

    Even if you do not have experience to determine realistic criteria, there is always information to determine their pessimistic version. Just ask yourself: “in what cases will I refuse to achieve the goal?” In our example, this is an income of less than $ 500 / month after six months of work. And in what conditions will you be ready to continue to go towards the goal without a burden of doubt for the soul?

    We can determine the resources that are originally. In the worst case, there will be no other resources. What can be achieved by relying only on them?

    Most risks can be identified using simple logic and a broad outlook. Their usual sources: state, people, nature, suspense. Think: what muck can you expect from each of them?

    These considerations are quite enough for the analysis and development of even two plans: pessimistic and satisfactory. The stories of people who have already done the same (or part of the same) will be useful help - from them you can fetch upper and lower bounds for many parameters. If there are none at all, then you are definitely doing something dumb.

    No plan needed - and so everything is clear


    The second extreme is less common, but it also happens. It is characteristic for people who do not have experience in solving complex problems. For example, for schoolchildren with gamedev.ru, the code begins to develop their first game.

    How is it guaranteed to explain to a person that far from everything is clear, even when it seems so, I don’t know. It all depends on the experience of the person: he accepts the fact that everyone is mistaken (including him) or not.

    Where practice tests work better. If everything is already clear, then documenting clarity on paper will require a maximum of a day. And surely this attempt will fail, which will be the best evidence in favor of planning.

    Conclusion


    Do not be lazy and do not be afraid to plan. It is not as difficult as it seems at first glance.

    It will also be nice to practice a couple of your ideas, not even very good ones. When necessary, a full hand will greatly facilitate the work.

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