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If you can’t write it down, you probably don’t know it 6 February, 2015

Posted by varoom in Business Plans.
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I’m a big fan of writing stuff down in business; your plans, strategies, agreements, forecasts all benefit from being captured in written form.

Often when you start to write down your thoughts it becomes rapidly clear that you don’t know everything, there remain unanswered questions, gaps in the story or what was simple in your head becomes hard to explain in written form.

The story of a business and where it is going and how it will get there is clear as day in the heads of most entrepreneurs, at least that’s what they think! When a company has several founders it gets worse because they all often have their own idea of what the direction of their enterprise is, but rarely is it the same. More seriously, at some future point, these variances of understanding or unwritten agreements may come back and bite you when you least expect it. A written agreement will force you and your founders to write down what you plan to do and more importantly have the battles about this up front and gain agreement.

When you start writing, don’t look for a template structure to start with, just start writing. The structure can come later. It’s important to start putting down stuff you know, you can explain or you all agree on. For things you don’t know leave gaps or questions that you can come back to later.

This can be a working, evolving document; you can come back to it over time when you have new information or feedback from external reviewers.

The act of writing stuff down is difficult, forces you to face unknowns and make your mind up about key decisions. Another side benefit is that it enables you to explain to others what you are doing, consistently and not depend on your off the cuff explanations.

So start writing….