Business Plan Templates Free

In “Atlas Shrugged,” Ayn Rand celebrates entrepreneurship. While Rand’s book may energize business owners, however, Rand displays a naïve view about how to write a business plan. In particular, Rand shows her limited real-life business experience by missing the boat in three important business planning areas: XXBR2 Relevance of the Team XXBR2 Rand’s view of entrepreneurship and free-market capitalism places the entrepreneur at the center of the economic universe. And that angle in a fictional writing makes for a good story. In “Atlas Shrugged,” her entrepreneurial heroes single-handedly create large industrial firms like Reardon Steel and Wyatt Oil. But Rand misses the contribution of the people within an organization other than the entrepreneur. XXBR2 Consider for a moment the example of Microsoft. Bill Gates may have programmed key bits of the MS-DOS operating system. But Microsoft—and any other wildly successful venture—relies on the innovative contributions of dozens of key people. XXBR2 Business Planning Tip: Do include detailed profiles of key venture personnel in your plan. XXBR2 Randomness, Risk and Plain Old Good Luck XXBR2 Rand views entrepreneurial success as a natural result of intelligence and hard work. And that’s kind of a handy starting point if you’re planning a business and thinking about how to write a winning business plan. But Rand misses an entrepreneurial reality that any veteran entrepreneur will tell you about: the huge impact that good luck or bad luck has on the ultimate success of the venture. Several brillant workaholics fail to achieve entrepreneurial success. XXBR2 Let’s be clear–this writer is not saying that super-successful entrepreneurs aren’t smart and hard-working. They are. XXBR2 So, bottom-line, you do need more than luck to build a successful, sustainable business. But you also need more than intelligence and hard work. XXBR2 Business Planning Tip: Do perform scenario planning and what-if analysis in your business planning so you have any sense about the elasticity of your business plan. Furthermore, make room for a few failures, delays and general bouts of bad luck. XXBR2 Importance of Non-Technological Innovation XXBR2 A final observation about Ayn Rand and how she is not maybe the greatest person in the world to look to for help with how to write a business plan—in spite of her enthusiasm for entrepreneurship: Rand tends to see entrepreneurial innovation as related to new technologies. For example, to her, innovation means new manufacturing tools, new oil drilling techniques, and new fuel-efficient engine technologies. Obviously, technological breakthroughs do create opportunities for entrepreneurs. But as management guru Peter Drucker points in the classic text “Innovation and Entrepreneurship,” business process innovation can also be powerful. And what’s more, because technological innovation tends to be closely watched, highly anticipated and rather conspicuous, business process innovation is mainly a better bet for new businesses. XXBR2 Business Planning Tip: If you doubt the power of business process innovation, think about Wal-Mart and its sophisticated supply chain management or about FedEx and its state-of-the-art logistical capabilities. Some business process innovators are arguably more innovative than hardware and software companies. XXBR2