Beyond the Business Plan

Beyond the Business Plan

10 Principles for New Venture Explorers

Palgrave Macmillan, 2013 more...

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Business plans are a long-accepted part of the strategic planning process. Until now, few experts questioned their accuracy, relevance or importance to the success of a new venture. However, Simon Bridge and Cecilia Hegarty take a new approach as they present their iconoclastic investigation into the role of business plans. They explain why intrepid entrepreneurs – “venture explorers” – should seek a better alternative when pursuing funding for their start-ups. While the book is repetitive, the authors present their argument carefully, buttress it with case studies and list 10 sound and interesting principles that venture explorers can rely upon as they launch start-ups. getAbstract recommends their insights to anyone seeking to launch a new enterprise.


Business Plans

The corporate world accepts business plans as essential elements of any enterprise, especially start-ups. However, such plans often prove irrelevant, because new ventures must deal with uncertainties that are not quantifiable or predictable. This is especially true for nonprofit start-ups.

Many “venture explorers” – people who want to create new organizations – follow uncharted courses and can copy no existing prototypes. Venture explorers cannot rely on business plans – they are too formalized and require hard forecasting data, which may or may not be valid in the circumstances surrounding venture explorers. Many start-ups consider formal business plans limited or unnecessary.

Despite entrepreneurs’ concerns, the corporate world sees business plans as essential for new enterprises. Management professionals, accountants and consultants as well as institutions, such as business schools or banks, insist that business plans be part of the formal documentation comprising a small venture’s strategic planning process, regardless of their effectiveness.

A business plan includes an executive summary, an introduction to the business, a review of the...

About the Authors

Simon Bridge is visiting professor of entrepreneurship at the University of Ulster and the co-author of Understanding Enterprise, Entrepreneurship and Small Business. Cecilia Hegarty has worked in entrepreneurship higher education for more than 10 years.

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