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Timing Is Everything

Is it ever too early to plan? Give your startup an edge by mapping the next 10 years now.

By Nichole L. Torres • May 5, 2006 Originally published May 5, 2005

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If you're in the startup phase of your business, it can behard to see all the way to the end of this week, much less the endof a decade. But since we're all about business plans andmaking maps for success, we at Entrepreneur wondered if itwas possible to make a 10-year plan for your startup business.

According to Thomas Kinnear, executive director of the Samuel Zell &Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at theUniversity of Michigan, Ann Arbor, it is not only possible, butit's also a good idea. "I think it's a gooddiscipline," he says. "But the further you get out, theless you should think of it as an operational plan and the more youshould think of it as a process to drive thinking." Therefore,a 10-year plan is going to look more like a compass than a roadmap, in that its purpose is to point you in the rightdirection.

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