SYRACUSE — If you are an aspiring business person and somoeone tries to tell you that you need a business plan, you may not need to listen.
If that person also tells you they will prepare it for you, run the other direction as quickly as possible, according to Andrew Willis.
“Business plans are dead,” he said.
Opt instead for a solid, complete executive summary, said Willis, who is the director of the Small Business Development Center housed at the Davis Applied Technology College’s Northfront Entrepreneurial Center in Kaysville.
“To us, it’s about creating the best concept around your business” to sell it to potential financial lenders and backers, he said.
“Probably 95 percent of entrepreneurs don’t do their homework” before seeking backing, he said, speaking to the Davis Unified Economic Development group at the Syracuse Community Center, Tuesday.
All SBDC services are free. One of its services can help a business create a financial model and executive summary.
That summary should be only four or five pages in length vs. the usually lengthy business plans, Willis said.
He said no financial institution has ever asked him for more detail than that. But it must be thoughtfully prepared and must answer many questions a lender would consider asking, he said.
For instance, the idea and concept of the business needs to be clearly stated, its sales plan explained, and its potential customers defined.
The small business center worked with one business that was struggling after 30 years of operation, Willis said.
The business owner didn’t know how to help customers or identify the problems customers were having, he told Willis. The entrepreneur couldn’t believe what he had missed.
Learn more about what the center offers in the July 19 edition of the Clipper.