NOTE: This does not apply to those who continue to work on developing their idea.

I frequently get calls from people who tell me they have a business plan and need my help to make it happen. After the formalities of Non Disclosure Agreements we schedule a meeting. That’s when I find out they have nothing more than a poorly thought-out idea.

An idea is not a business plan. You cannot raise money on an idea.

Before you get upset with me for telling you that your idea does not have enough substance to sustain a hummingbird, do this: Think of the ideal customer for your business. Give that idealized person a name. Then run through a scenario from initial contact to being a customer. What is the experience like for your ideal customer? What does your ideal customer pay? What does he get?

If you can’t do that, you do not have a business plan.

I can help you develop a plan but don’t get impatient if I don’t encourage you to run to the shark tank with your “idea”. I am trying to prevent you from blowing your money and reputation on an idea that is full of holes. It is essential to work up a complete plan.

Chris Reich,
(FW78, But I will gain ground this weekend!)