Generally, I’m more of a fan of doing rather than planning but I understand the importance of getting everyone on the same page. With that said, it’s important to plan in a way that’s relevant to the size and stage of the startup. Yes, a 100 page business plan for a company not yet started is almost always overkill. On the other hand, a one page plan is almost always the right size for leadership purposes.
Here’s how I think about the planning frequency at different startup stages:
- Concept stage — get out there and talk to as many people as possible and iterate quickly
- Seed stage — weekly strategy sessions to digest new information and make a plan for the following week
- Early stage – monthly planning and milestones; enough to move fast while still keeping everyone on the same page
- Growth stage — quarterly planning with a Rockefeller Habits approach
Startup size and progress plays an important role in planning frequency. My recommendation is to move quickly and keep a simple one page plan.
What else? What other tips do you have for planning frequency at different startup stages?