Why failing to plan isn't always planning to fail

I'm not about to dismiss this. Nor do I deny its logic or recommend anyone thinking of starting their own business shouldn't write a business plan. It should be a staple for 99.9% of start-ups, if not all. Let's face it, a fair proportion of failed businesses do so because the founders weren't realistic about the basics (sales, costs, model) in the first place.

Heck, plug alert, I've spent most of the last month spreading the word about Smarta Business Builder, our online toolkit for small businesses, on the very basis it gives people greater control to make better informed decisions and includes a nifty bit of business planning kit. Plug over.

But, all this aside, sometimes, just sometimes, it pays to follow your gut, trust your instinct and take the opportunities in front of you - then worry about the rest later.

The very best, most inspiring and successful entrepreneurs I've met stick their necks out for the right deals because they know there's simply no time to sit and do the sums - or that the sums won't provide the answers they're looking for.

Top entrepreneurs make the deal, take the cash there and then and work backwards. They ignore the advisors and people in their team who, in fairness, are paid to be the voices of caution, and resolutely plough ahead.

To power phrase JFK, 'conformity is the enemy of growth' and entrepreneurs' willingness to resist logic and the warnings of the beancounters is their greatest trait.

Again, let's be clear, this isn't about recklessly betting the farm, abandoning strategy or dismissing business logic, it's about spotting an opportunity others can't, being bold enough to act on it and then having the business brains to plan and execute a model around it.

Time for another quote, this one is from George Bernard Shaw and features on my business card: 'The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.'

This is the real difference between the planners and plodders (nothing wrong with that) and the entrepreneurs who think big, move quicker and fast-track growth.

We use cookies to create the most secure and effective website possible for our customers. Full details can be found here