1. Strike a balance between planning and action. Plan too much, you might miss an opportunity or lose your momentum (aka “analysis paralysis”). Plan too little, and you might make critical errors that doom your venture to failure.
2. Planning a business is iterative, not linear. You can’t plan effectively by sitting in a library. You need to get your ideas into a format that makes it easy to communicate them, and get them in front of advisors and investors. That way you can get feedback, tweak your plan, and get back out there.
3. The thinking behind the plan is more important than any document you’ll produce. By all means get help with your plan, but don’t hand it off to someone else – you’ve got to do the thinking yourself, and understand it.
4. Focus on your pitch deck (i.e. a 10 – 15 slide presentation in Powerpoint or Keynote), not a text-based plan. Use the outline for your pitch deck to guide your research and analysis. That way you’ll plan your business with maximum speed and flexibility – and improve your chances of success.