What we learn in school is to write a business plan before we do anything else.

I’m about to tell you to scrap that and focus elsewhere.

What you should keep in mind is the purpose of a business plan. 
The purpose of the document is to present the company’s strategy and expected financial performance for the future.

Now this is all good for a traditional business where you know exactly what you need to do, who you sell to, your competitors and so on.

The fundamental flaw in creating this document as your first step in creating a new business is that you do not have solid information about who your customers are, how you will sell to them and how much they will be paying you or the revenue you will generate.

You haven’t had a customer yet or have any factual data on your market performance. It’s all based on vapour, data you think is correct.
By starting with this process and using your plan as action steps, you will base your whole future company on wild assumptions.

My suggestion is to start with a business model instead.

The model will demonstrate the value your company will offer to customers, how you will actually reach your customers and finally how your company will generate profit from all of it.

Essentially the business model is at the heart of your business plan but rather than spending 200+ hours creating your plan from vapourware and wild assumptions, the model allows you to draw up your intended business in a way where you get a better understanding of its risks and where you should focus first.

LEARNING: ‘Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.’ 
Learn about your customers, validate your market on your customer segment, your channels or how you will reach your customers and finally how you plan to generate revenue.