Saturday, January 10, 2015

Are You Planning Your Business To Death?

While researching expert opinions on business plans, I came across Chuck Blakeman, author, speaker, and founder of the Crankset Group, who offers a very “un-scholarly” view on the subject. His basic position is that a business plan is a waste of time that would otherwise be spent on getting a business underway; life happens, and the future is not predictable, he says (Blakeman, 2012). I was immediately intrigued for several reasons.

As a graduate business student at Full Sail University, I have spent the last ten months exploring every aspect of a business plan and the methods for properly running a business. To hear an expert say that was a waste of time was a curve ball. Yet, my father, a successful entrepreneur in the transportation sector, concedes that he never created a business plan. He once told me “everything manufactured has to be delivered to its customer” (Beliakoff, personal communication, 1998). Talk about a vision of job security. Unless you own a funeral home, you are unlikely to find a more steady business stream.

To find out what other experts think, I went to my favorite search engine and asked the question: “Is a business plan important?” I was expecting to see all positive results, but of the first ten articles returned, there was one negative from a trusted source,, with the title Why Business Plans Are A Waste Of Time. Author Paul Brown gives three reasons why over-planning and failing to act now could cause your business to fail: No revenue, opportunity cost, and lost time-to-market (Brown, 2013).

I am by no means suggesting that a business plan is not important. There is a critical need to look into the future with as much insight as possible. I am suggesting that entrepreneurs take a moment to assess their product or service and ask themselves whether planning to introduce it is more important than actually leaping into the market. If you offer something unique, do it now. Plan later.

I can say, as a former manager of corporate planning, that the more money you need, the more time you will have to spend putting pen to paper. If you need $350 million to build an ABC, for example, you will have to justify where every bolt will be placed, in a 130-page document. If you need $25 thousand to acquire an XYZ, you might just consult your contact list with a friendly email, or post your business plan on


Blakeman, C. (2012). How: The Worst, Most Asked Planning Question. Retrieved from:

Brown, P. (2013). Why Business Plans Are A Waste Of Time. Retrieved from:

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