In providing business plan services we deal with many entrepreneurs across a wide range of industries and we are regularly inspired by their commitment and enthusiasm for their business whether it is a start-up or a growth business. We often see entrepreneurs with a clear vision for the business that will drive it forward but in the execution of a business plan this can also be the limiter of its potential if it means an inability to “let go”.
In these cases we see business opportunities that look sound and have great potential but are limited by the entrepreneur’s desire to make judgement calls in areas of business where they lack experience, knowledge or relevant skills. The critical need is for the entrepreneur to be able to "outsource" in these areas and draw on experience of others, trust their judgement and act on their advice if the business is to be a success.
In some cases the entrepreneur is unable to take that leap of faith and remains in their personal “comfort zone” of control where they rely on their own judgement and at best pay lip-service to advice. The result is often delay, prevarication and poor decision making.
Why is this? Well, firstly the easiest person to fool about your business is yourself. It is easy to stay within the bounds of the vision you have created and stick to your plan – opening it up to others exposes it to the risk of someone identifying weaknesses and putting your vision under threat. For someone who has already invested much time and energy in getting to where they are this can be a big risk.
In addition, the entrepreneur can often be reluctant to face up to their own limitations and cede some control of an area of business where someone else is better able to make judgements. For some people there is a reticence to trust another person and act on their advice – and there is no point in engaging with an expert if the advice is then disregarded in preference to one’s own assessment. This inability to “let go" can constrain, or even prevent, a business starting up or growing.
So how can you get to the point of "Letting go"? This not only requires some element of self-awareness but also an ability to have the confidence to acknowledge this to others, be able to source a better qualified person, and manage their input effectively. At the end of the day it is about being a good manager, as well as a good entrepreneur, which can be lost in the excitement and passion for a new business.
So, don't fool yourself ! A third party independent opinion (which doesn't need to be expensive and can sometimes be free or subsidised) can often help by putting your approach in a broader context that will make the decision making process effective and increase the chances of success. In our business we are open about how we think you should choose business plan services and measure ourselves regularly against these criteria. Whatever role or project you are going to outsource you should ensure you choose your counsel wisely and be clear on what basis you are prepared "let go".
The Business Plan Team
- Jon Hunt is the Lead Consultant for The Business Plan Team which works with growing businesses, entrepreneurs & start-ups that need help developing a professional business plan to secure funding and guide internal management. It has developed business plans for a wide range of businesses and corporate clients looking to raise funding of between £250,000 and £200million in many different industry sectors including Social Media, Retail, Construction, Mining, Renewable Energy, Technology, Healthcare, Interior Design, Sport & Leisure, Investment Banking, Wealth Management and Trading. Testimonials from these clients illustrate the high levels of service TBPT provides.