The BookPals development has reinforced the importance of putting together a business plan for any new venture you embark on.
The “Business Plan Myth” for small business owners is that creating a business plan is a long, laborious, process that you have to complete before you start working on the business itself (do you think I’m talking from experience from previous projects I have worked on?!!!!), but this cannot be further from the truth.
When we came up with the idea of BookPals we agreed that we had to put a business plan together, but the product itself was well under way before we actually started putting our business plan on paper.
What we have found most beneficial since putting our business plan on paper is that it has actually helped us identify shortfalls in our ideas that could easily have been missed if our ideas simply stayed as thoughts in our heads.
As an example, when we first started working on BookPals it was going to be a desktop/laptop based application, but when we started putting together our business plan, we realised that we were missing out on the ever growing smart phone/tablet market and as a result, we are now working on enhancements that will make BookPals available to users of smart phones and tablets.
These enhancements will be completed prior to the BookPals launch and because of this, there will be substantial savings in development costs when compared to the cost of having to create a smart phone/tablet “plug-in” after product launch.
It might sound boring, but make sure you spend time putting together a comprehensive business plan for any project you are working on – the long term benefits far outweigh the time it takes to do so.