Why Entrepreneurs Always Need to Have a Plan B
Plan B should be with regards to strategy and execution approach and not like 'If my idea doesn't work I will look for a job, start a new business etc.'
Starting your own business? Well, then start with the planning process and draft a well- written business plan, which will further help you achieve your entrepreneurial goals. But what if your desired plan doesn’t work out the way you wanted. There comes the role of Plan B, an alternative or secondary plan to be executed if the original one proves impracticable or unsuccessful. It’s something to fall back on when your initial plan, Plan A, doesn't work.
Like any entrepreneur, if you're struggling to cope with ups and down of the entrepreneurial journey then it is critical for you to have a Plan B in place.
Entrepreneur India spoke to few entrepreneurs to know why it is important for startups to create a Plan B.
- Addition to Plan A:
A lot of times, Plan B is often confused with an alternate or a completely different approach. However, that need not necessarily be true. Raghunandan Saraf, Founder & CEO, Saraf Furniture feels as aspiring entrepreneurs, one should approach Plan B as a confidence that would eventually drive Plan A.
“It need not necessarily be a replacement or an alternative but an addition or an expansion. It is the extension of current process and opinions, applicable in succession of operations & resources,” he said.
Starting up is not easy and an entrepreneur’s life is continuously challenged, given the ever-changing business environment, competition from the well-established legacy enterprises and a lack of available form or structure in the market. Saraf believes, by having a Plan B, entrepreneurs can approach the business world with confidence, be flexible in trying various approaches until they achieve the coveted success.
- Redefine Success:
In startup lingo, plan B is also referred as "pivots", if you're working on a startup idea, you must be working on several pivoting experiments related to your startup as your Plan B strategy. As per Akash Gupta, Founder and CEO, Mobycy, these side experiments generally conceptualize the growth path of your startup.
“Come what may if you're marred by hyper-competition in your space, or lack of funds, such plans will always carve out a nice path of success for your success. At Mobycy, we continue to keep testing a lot of new products & features like venturing in e-bikes & e-scooters along with normal bikes. For us, it’s a pilot experiment we've started and we hope that it'll open new strategic doors in the short and long-term,” shared Gupta
Similarly, as a founder, Gupta keeps working on various Plan B strategies which comes in handy just in case his Plan A turns out to not be the direction he expected.
- Close the Gap from Strategy to Execution:
For Shachin Bharadwaj, Co-founder & CEO, Sminq, Plan B should be with regards to strategy and execution approach and not like ‘If my idea doesn’t work I will look for a job, start a new business etc.’
“Based on customer feedback, situations etc. you need to make Plan A, B, C or more. Try to solve the problem that you have envisioned, though, the path to get to it may differ from Plan A,” he added.
- Prepare For the Inevitable:
It’s never a good feeling when your desired optimum path doesn’t work out. But don’t forget that entrepreneurship is the game of low probability outcomes. And a smart, strategic entrepreneur always has a cascading set of plans with decreasing desirability with survivability in mind.
Satyen Kothari, CEO of Cube shared that planning for multiple alternative outcomes helps save one from the inevitable emotional whiplash that will ensue if the original Plan doesn’t work out.
“It helps prepare back-up resources, alternative partnerships, and set internal team expectations so that morale is not affected adversely. My advice for entrepreneurs is to build a decision tree. It gets everything out from your brain and forces you to analyze each stage and the pros and cons - before each stage even occurs,” said Kothari