Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Are Business Plans Still Relevant?

There's a lot of discussion on business blogs, LinedIn, Internet sites, financing groups and other places about the relevance of business plans in today's times.  Many of the VC organizations suggest that a formal business plan is no longer necessary as their participants and other angel groups don't bother to read them.

Maybe it's just the circles I run in versus the circles of the big NYC, Chicago, LA guys, but almost every financing group I know (including angel groups) require a business plan to even get in the door.

But aside from financing requirements, I believe that the planning activity is the most important factor, followed by an actual written business or strategic plan.  In fact, I commented on one of the LinkedIn groups the following:

What's important is researching the market to determine the industry trends, competition and customers, considering how you'll handle marketing and completing a viability analysis. Business owners need to have some sort of reasonable expectation that the business model is viable before launching. Anything short of that is just gambling. Saying you have to get to market quick is not an excuse to skip the market research, unless you're already an expert in that business. If you've been working in the industry, you may already have much of this research at hand. But my experience is that most people who say they have this information are in fact just lazy and don't want to take the time to properly analyze the market. 

What do you have to say on this topic?  Do you believe that the business plan is a thing of the past or an integral part of a start-up?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Rocket City Sitters - Madison, AL Startup of the Year!


My friends at Rocket City Sitters were honored by the Madison, Alabama Chamber of Commerce recently as the 2010 Start Up of the Year.  From L-R are Nick Weseman, Adrienne Stephens and Erica Weseman.  Congratulations on the award, you guys are doing a great job!

RCS provides short-terms childcare in the Huntsville-Madison county area.  they hire only trustworthy sitters who are certified to provide quality care for your kids.  They also work with organizations such as churches and businesses and events like a wedding or reunion.  No more need to stay home on a Friday night because you can't find a sitter.  Contact Rocket City Sitters today to schedule a sitter by phone at 256-272-1727.
Check out Rocket City Sitters on-line at www.RocketCitySitters.com .