August 24, 2007

What before a "Business Plan" ?

This is a thought that came to my mind during the talks at BarCamp Bangalore-4 which were focussed on "Business Plans".But is it always about Business Plans?...let's find the answer.Most of us have ideas in mind but where most of us lack is the understanding of the market penetration of the idea.Take the example of blogging, when people started blogging, no one would have thought that there was so much money in blogging.Now since we know that many bloggers are earning a handful of money , some bloggers[who get a decent traffic] may feel that "We can also go into full-time blogging" but this may not be the case.Blogging is not an easy job and it is always a tough decision "Do you go full time or work(on an idea) part time"?

Similar is the case with ideas.Each one of us have ideas but it is very important to understand the penetration of the idea in reality.Along with the penetration,there are lots of other environmental factors that you should consider:
  • What is your current status?
  • Do you have any dependents?
  • Are you married or engaged? and so on....
If you consider India , such factors are very important.I just happened to speak to one of the founders of a startup[in Bangalore] regarding a job opportunity for my friend and his first question was "Are you married?" and I understood the importance of that question.A girl may prefer a person having some average work profile(in an MNC) over a budding entrepreneur who is working on an idea that would change the world !!! When you talk about a startup , it is always in terms of stake rather in salary hence, many times you may have to settle down with a much lesser salary sad

The bottom line is "In India, though there are many startups taking shape day after day, (full time) entrepreneurship is still at a nascent stage".Hence, along with the idea & it's estimated growth , it is also important to understand "Why you want to take a plunge?" and "Are you ready to go full time [since, your idea would be better only if it is taken part-time , which means it may not be worth making it as a business]".

The message is there are two sides of the coin "Business Plan" and "Life Plan". "Life Plan" is your present and targetted future in a short plan.This is very important for any aspiring entrepreneur since, it would help him/her understand whether "(S)HE IS READY FOR A FULL TIME PLUNGE"

There is a 8 point life plan from Startup Nation comprising the following:
  1. Your Current Status
  2. Your Ideal Life
  3. Your Loves: What You Really Like Doing
  4. Your Skills & Capabilities: What You Do Well
  5. Your Track Record: What You Have Experience Doing
  6. Your Ideal Work Style
  7. Your Manifesto
  8. Key Moves to Get You Where You Want to Go
You can find a detailed explanation to points(1-5) here , points(6-8) here and a sample life-plan here. Time to review your life and than your idea; since, you have to decide whether you are ready for full time Entrepreneurship or Patro-preneurship [my terminology for part time entrepreneurship] !!!

Image Courtesy:
SG Entrepreneurs Group

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At Aug 26, 2007, 3:53:00 AM , Anonymous Trakin said...

It is a very tough decision and the question "if you are married" is very apt.
Again, money in blogging is not easy, not easy at all at start. But if you blog regularly with some volume over a period of 12 to 15 months and if you have got the readership, you can make decent money. The best part of bloggin however, is the exposure you get !

At Aug 27, 2007, 2:25:00 AM , Anonymous Raseel said...

Man !! Some of the points really hit home !! Especially with in the Indian context, with so much family responsibility attached, one has to prod very carefully in unchartered waters.
I'm currently stuck at that "Procrastinating Point" (as I like to call it) where you are fighting, with that voice within, on whether to take the "full-time" plunge or wait for "some more time" and save up enough funds (and guts) so that your family does not have to go through hell because of you.

At Aug 28, 2007, 12:06:00 AM , Anonymous Himanshu Sheth said...

@Arun(Trakin) : I do agree that things are difficult when you are married(especially in the Indian context).I am definitely aware about the returns of blogging and have more blogger friends than real friends :)

@Raseel: Welcome to my blog :) Just like you,even I am trying to convince people in my family since I am more interested in joining a startup which would help me to achieve my dream(to have a startup)...Also,I dont think that I would send my family to hell :)

At Nov 10, 2007, 9:24:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is definitely a big cross over point for most of the people who dream. Either dream for yourself or dream for others. I took the plunge already and still there is this voice telling me to go back to a MNC and leave the job to the bob, there is the other telling me to go for the kill and fulfill in getting a startup out of my idea. I have been contacting mostly startup people, VC"s for funding and all other essentials but still there is this plunge, as it is the first attempt. Btw where are you people in your career and what expertise do you all work on?


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