Planning To Make Mistakes...



The business plan that is written before the business starts trading might satisfy the needs of the bank.  It may even persuade a few inexperienced ‘investors’ to part with a bit of cash.  But, it will bear absolutely no relation to reality!

My first business was intended to be a market research company - I became a services marketing specialist. 

My second was supposed to be an IT services research business - it ended up as a successful IT services management consultancy.

My third was originally envisioned as an on-line information repository - it is now a mentoring service.

OK, I admit that my planning was pretty dumb!  But my experience  - and that of countless other business owners - demonstrates a key lesson for anybody marketing a new business.  The only way to learn is to try things out and we learn 10 times more from the things that go wrong than from our successes.

The first few months - perhaps even years - are about test marketing not achieving instant notoriety.  This means:

  • Keeping a relatively low profile and working with a small number of customers to test the key elements of your business and proving its viability.
  • Listening closely to your customers and adapting your business accordingly - much better than any formal 'market research'!
  • Prototyping your products and delivery mechanisms to make sure they work.

OK, so you won’t make a fortune overnight!  But you should generate enough cash to keep you afloat.  More importantly, you will have developed something that you know people want.  You will have a detailed understanding of your market.  And you will have proved the fundamental viability of your business.

You can now start to plan with confidence!

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