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Business planning mistakes

Question
What are some of the most common business planning mistakes? 
Answer
Here are some of the most common business planning mistakes:

- Putting it off. Don't wait to write a business plan until a banker or investor asks for one.

- Not recognizing cash flow is more important than sales, profits or anything else.

- Inflating the plan. Plans don't sell new business ideas to investors; people do. The plan is only a way to present information. Investors invest in people, not ideas.

- Fear of the planning process. It's not that difficult.

- Having vague goals. The objective of a plan is results which can be tracked with specific dates, management responsibilities, budgets and milestones.

- Not being focused. A priority list with three or four items is focused, not 20.

- Unreasonable growth projections. Use projections that are conservative and based on data. When in doubt, be less optimistic. 
Brain Trust contributor: Author of Hurdle: The Book on Business Planning President, Palo Alto Software
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