I recently sat down with a fellow millennial who works at a PE(private firm) to discuss a business venture I’ve been mulling for sometime now. I wasn’t seeking validation necessarily of my concepts but just wanted a sounding board to challenge my thinking. And since a key component of my concept would involve raising a fund I thought it would be a very productive conversation. This contemporary of mine agreed that my concept had merit and it wasn’t a concept that a lot of people have been thinking about or if they are aren’t willing to take on the undertaking of the concept.
But then a portion of the conversation turned to next steps and my contemporary offered two actions that I thought was old school and outdated. He suggest that I go to business school and also that I craft a business plan. Let me say this, I have nothing against business schools or business plans. I’ve started two business in my short business career and both times I’ve put together detailed business plans. They are a useful mechanism in some aspects of organization. Though I haven’t been yet to business school, they have produced many a transformational mind and business idea.
However, those are old methods that long kept many an innovational ideas or revolutionary concepts from being fully and fairly concept. For second half of the 20th century you had to be the product of business schools for majority of business concepts to be taken seriously. You need to produce 100 page business plans with pie chart and case study results before your idea was thought to be financial viable. Though these produce methods produced success stories they produced just as many failed attempts.
Don’t let your business idea get caught in this rat race of business schools and business plans, the best form of testing an idea is IMPLEMENTATION!!! The concepts need to be tested thru operations not thru case studies and diagrams. The consumer and the open market will be the best grader of whether this is a sustainable business not course grades.
And when you seek to raise money for your venture don’t let investor slow walk you with that “We’re not in the business of gambling” using that statement as justification of why they need you to have the MBA letter behind your name or the business plan in front of their faces. All business is a risk, and honestly your concept without a full blown business plan laid out has just as much a chance of failure or success as the venture with those items. And I would argue that business plans are actually too rigid! They narrow your ability to pivot and change course if the market or customer tells you that your overall concept is sound but you need to change certain aspects of it. They limit your ability to think like an innovative entrepreneur because investors will expect you not to stray from the original concept of that plan.
Spend less time planning and focus more on implementing. You don’t need more case studies you need more live implementation. You don’t need your head in a book studying hours of course material you need your hands in the dirt building from the ground up.
Jamaal W Vetose
Todd Capital Investments