The cobbler’s children are always the worst-shod

It’s a well-known phenomenon and there are other versions of the saying as well as many other contemporary examples.

What is the reason for it?

After a day’s work people just don’t want to spend their spare time doing more of the same and there is possibly a reluctance to use their skills without earning money. There may also be a socioeconomic reason – people may not have the time or make enough money to pay for the kind of service they charge others for.

Most of these reasons point to the fact that their business plan is a poor one.  If the job must be done outside work hours, then no consideration has been made for the fact that presenting their skills at home is an opportunity for marketing – and marketing should be part of a business plan. People are increasingly aware of the value of multi-modal marketing practices including promoting one’s capabilities via family and friends especially with the rise of social media as marketing medium.

How do you do in this respect?

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Is Business Planning just pie in the sky?

Far be it for me to disagree with so esteemed a venture capitalist as founder of Dropbox, Fitbit and GuitarHero Brad Feld when he says that “business plans are dead.  Business planning is not.”  In context, he’s talking about how a traditional 45 page business plan is out of date as soon as it’s written, and how one page business model summaries are more in keeping with today’s business world.

I don’t disagree entirely – but I think the purpose of the plan helps determine its format – and length.  Submit a one page summary to a funder, and if they can be bothered instead of issuing a straight rejection, they’ll come back with detailed questions regarding cost and resource implications, cash-flow forecasts and requesting much more detail to support their decision making.

A short summary may be sufficient if the plan is to support the business’ internal strategic direction  – but it will still need to be backed up with specifics on how to manage the logistical change any business plan necessitates.

For help turning your ideas into a plan – however long it needs to be, give us a call…