In the information age, the average person wants all material fed to them in a quick and concise way that doesn’t take up too much time. This can be said for e-mails for example, because unless the first line or two grabs your attention, you are going to be very reluctant to read the rest. Are business plans still relevant in a digital era when technology can help process some of life’s complex jobs, and is there a need for business plan writers?
It has been suggested by some venture capitalists that traditional business plans are no longer necessary as no-one takes the time to go through and read them. Anyone studying business will have been taught that business plans are a part of any new business; a fundamental step to its success. These are meant to give an organisation structure, clarity and goals, as well as help it to move everyone in the company in the same direction. It is a necessity to any business, whether you need it to assist you in raising funds or to aid in strategic business decisions. So why would anyone be opposing something that for many years has been so essential?
One thing that could be blamed is the technology that we are now exposed to. Keen web developers are always looking to make every online task as quick and easy as possible, and the businesses heavily involved in this arena have to be agile; regularly changing their strategy and goals to suit advancing technology and new trends.
The younger generation with a new attitude are looking at new ways to assess a business and its assets. Traditional measures are being disregarded, with new measures taking their place; measures which are seen as quicker, easier and more convenient.
If business plans are being disregarded then what are the new measures for measuring and assessing a business? Do we just judge them on reputation, income, profit, their market? It would seem that everyone has their own criteria and that there are no longer a certain set of standards that a venture capitalist has to meet when showcasing their company to potential buyers.
Of course financial information and projections are still vital to the success of any start-up, but it seems that would be investors are spending a greater proportion of their time researching the market to determine industry trends, competition and customers. The macro-environment gives a wider picture of where the potential investment lies, what the demand is and how many competitors are already in the area.
So should you make a business plan? Of course, you should. Just because the arena has changed, it doesn’t mean that you should completely abandon solid business planning all of a sudden. However, what you concentrate on in your business plan might be different from what you would have concentrated on 20 years ago. Look at the wider environment in more detail and growth areas the company could potentially move into in future. Keep your plan agile and regularly updated and success is much more likely to come your way.