I wrote my first business plan with my good friend Tim at the ripe age of 19 years old. Tim and I decided that we wanted to enter into the business of selling computers through the retail channel. We needed to raise some capital to start our business so we went about writing a business plan. Along the way to writing the business plan we elicited the help of many seasoned business people as well as many small business associations. The process caused me to read dozens of books, gathers thousands of pages of census and market data as well as do market studies.
After 6 months of 10 hour days we finally finished our business plan and our company vision had changed more than I could have ever imagined. About the only the consistent with our initial vision was that we would use computers and that there were to be the two of us as partners. We went from wanting to sell retail to working on call and in an office rather than a store. We changed our approach from selling product to selling services and solutions. Most of all we went from a concept that was going to cost us upwards of $100,000 (which we did not have) to something we could begin with a mere $5000 which we were able to raise.
What a difference 6 months and many lates nights can make,