While most really dug BizGym at SXSW this year, a few questioned whether BizGym might be too “cookie cutter” an approach. Hmmmmm… time to re-evaluate what were doing… So OK, here’s the pros and cons of our knowledge management or “idea bank” approach to business planning:

PRO
  1. Easier for Funders to Evaluate: A standardized “chip-to-chip” (aka apples-to-apples) format makes it easier for bankers, VCs, angels and analysts to skim and evaluate plays. Presenting in standardized fashion shows you’re both considerate of your readers’ time and that your confident enough to go “chip-to-chip, nut-to-nut” with your competition.
  2. Your Checklist to Success: A cookie-cutter approach ensures coverage of all the essential themes to success. What happens to businesses that get 9 out of 10 ingredients right? Their cakes don’t rise and they end up as a lot of inedible garbage.
  3. Easier to Evolve Your Vision: A predictable structure makes it easier to evolve your business vision on an on-going basis. Which means BizGym succeeds in killing the “desk ballast” bplan paradigm and birthing a new and useful “living document” desktop tool. MMMMMMMM….. Me Likes!
CON
  1. Less Formatting Flexibility: Cookie-cutting doesn’t easily accommodate advanced formatting concepts like drawing flowers and horses in the corners of pages. Note however that studies show that Bedazzling an otherwise rigid cover format makes 53.5% of bankers, VCs and financial analysts sit up and take notice.
  2. Creative Writing Limitations: For those who love to curl up with a good business plan at night, the cookie-cutter approach isn’t conducive to mystery and other highly creative literary genres.
  3. Imperiles America’s GNP: If it proves true that anyone can write their own cookie-cutting bplan, the resulting jobless rate among biz plan writers might be the straw that breaks America’s back, hurling us into the dreaded darkness of a double-dip recession. OMG, none of us wants to be the cause of that! MMMMMMM…!!!

We’ve decided to continue spitting in the wind and hope it doesn’t land back on our Cookie-Cutter Movement

I dunno, it’s a toss up. So I took our own medicine and did BizGym on BizGym. It revealed that the unformatted approach is already covered by competitors so it’s better for us to try a new paradigm. MMMMMMM…!!!

So we’ve decided to continue spitting in the wind and hope it doesn’t land back on our Cookie-Cutter Movement. We’re already rolling out the dough and hope you’ll join us in making a rising and sweet future.

BIZ QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Cookie! I like COOOOOOOOKIE!” ~ Cookie Monster, JD, MBA, PhD, MMMMM

GOT AN OPINION? TELL US BELOW…

 

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2 Responses to “Should Business Planning Be Cookie-Cutter?”

  1. Don Osborne

    Seems me there is always a certain amount of “pro-forma” in everything, even that which turns out to be creative. There are certain standards that help people understand what you’re doing and, if they want to fun(d) it, but on that foundation one builds the “difference” that stands out against the competition and creates new sales.

    There is something about many new “apps” which is based on foundational needs and even methods, but the maybe the buzz is in making something common, uncommon or more interesting.

    Anyway, may have missed the point of cookie-cutter, but start with a “mold” then twist it, turn it or break it. But, I think there some foundational, structural basics to hang your personality on. The cookie monster, is after all, a cookie – he’s just blue and fuzzy!

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