by Dianne J. Shaver, M. A.,
It’s no secret by now that I’m not a fan of business plans for entrepreneurs but I am totally committed to using a business model for my own business and those of my clients.
What’s the difference? A business plan is a specific roadmap that says where your business is going and how it’s going to get there. It assumes that your business is a fixed entity and will follow a defined path.
A business model says the kind of business you have, how it generates revenue, how it creates change, how it expands and grows. It’s a much less specific and more fluid approach. The reason I like this is that entrepreneurial businesses are dynamic and are always changing so they work better. The business may start off in one direction but as it grows it becomes very clear that there is another course of action that will fit better and produce more revenue and solve the original problem it sought to solve better.
That is what defines an entrepreneurial business. It can change without waiting for approval from a many departments and taking months to implement a new approach plus there is no attachment to a previous course of action when a better way is found. This is where ego has no place in entrepreneurial business so there is no investment in defending something that is not working. That is the strength of entrepreneurial business. It can change to meet the demands of its clients/customers quickly and efficiently and thus increase its revenue more quickly. The change can be anything from a complete pivot where the product or service changes dramatically or it can just be a change in strategic alliances or packaging of a product or change in the customer base. But all of the changes come out of paying attention to how the business is functioning and a natural shift to something that works better. The watchword of entrepreneurial business is improvement. In fact, constant improvement. That is true especially in early stages of growth. Ironically, sometimes when an entrepreneurial business has huge success it can be less willing to change and will begin to function in a more corporate structure.
The desire for success in a world that produces constant technological change is often the driving force behind an entrepreneurial business making changes. This is true for non-tech business as well since all business use some form of technology. However you look at it continuous improvement is the name of the game if a business is to stay relevant and fulfill its true potential.