Lots of people are loving Pinterest, the fabulously successful new social platform for sharing pictures. People are posting not only personal pictures, but increasingly business pictures, as well. And Pinterest business-success stories are popping up everywhere on the Web.
But can you do a business plan with Pinterest? My answer starts with the question: Why not? And it continues with a picture: My Pinterest sample business-plan board shown here.The original is available on Pinterest, click here to see it on the site.
The Pinterest business plan shown here is based on a sample bicycle-shop business plan developed with the online Web application at www.liveplan.com, which is the source of the business charts. I added random public domain images, some of them from another of my boards on Pinterest, to illustrate hypothetical strategy, target market, ownership and so forth. The images don’t really tie together, but if this were an actual business plan, they would.
It’s perfectly compatible with my long-term take on business plans, emphasizing their use in planning, managing and steering a business, rather than merely as formal documents describing a business. The Pinterest plan, like the slide deck, elevator speech or summary memo, is not the plan itself but the output of the plan. It’s a summary and reminder of what’s important, and it’s meant to be reviewed and revised often.
The complete plan should be a collection of interrelated modules that lay out the goals of the business, the steps to achieve those goals, specific tasks and responsibilities, important milestones and dates, and basic metrics, including projected sales, costs, expenses, profits and cash flow. The business plan’s function is to help entrepreneurs manage better, optimize resources and steer the business into the future. Its form is supposed to follow function, so if you’re looking for a collection of visual images that summarize the plan, Pinterest is a perfectly reasonable platform to use.
This kind of plan looks and feels a lot like a slide deck. Its main advantage, compared to a slide deck, is ease of access. Its main disadvantage, compared to a slide deck, is the lack of a structure to organize the images into headings or categories.
Remember in all cases that the business plan isn’t about the document or the deck or the pictures. Instead, a business plan is worthwhile because of the decisions that result from it. If the Pinterest plan helps you organize a team and set the main points so you can move forward logically, why not?