Learning from Example: The “life destroying” small business plan

by Brad Isaac on January 3, 2006

Many of you are entrepreneurs or want to be small business owners one day. Owning your own business can be a romantic prospect. Visions of working for yourself, no boss nagging you, long vacations on the beach…which is why some of the more boring actions of starting a business are never considered until it is too late.

Writing a business plan doesn’t have the same ring to it as “working from my own yacht”. Performing market research does not have the same appeal as “quit this stupid job now so I can open my own storefront next month.”

With start up small businesses failing somewhere around 50% within 3 years and nearly 25% in their first year, strong business planning and market research is simply too important to ignore. If you need further reinforcement of the necessity, take a look at this article over at Slate: Bitter Brew – I opened a charming neighborhood coffee shop. Then it destroyed my life. By Michael Idov via Business Opportunities Weblog.

In it he says: The dream of running a small cafe has nothing to do with the excitement of entrepreneurship or the joys of being one’s own boss-none of us would ever consider opening a Laundromat or a stationery store, and even the most delusional can see that an independent bookshop is a bad idea these days. The small cafe connects to the fantasy of throwing a perpetual dinner party, and it cuts deeper-all the way to Barbie tea sets-than any other capitalist urge. To a couple in the throes of the cafe dream, money is almost an afterthought. Which is good, because they’re going to lose a lot of it.

As you read, you’ll see he learned a lot of hard lessons from the business failure. He started a business out of pure love. I don’t think it has ruined his life though. Learning entreprenuer lessons the hard way can translate into a lot of profit if you can bounce back.

So he failed his first time out. So what? He probably learned more about business in those 6 months than he paid for. He got the Harvard business school education for pennies on the dollar. Yet we can still learn a great deal from his story.

Technorati Tags: entrepreneur, business, goals, examples, goal setting

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