Lost in the details

While I don’t believe that the world is ever completely divided into two separate categories, there are definite opposing sides to any issue. That being said, in the working world there are two main groups of people: big picture and detail-oriented. Again, people are usually on some sort of scale with regard to the two as their gifts and talents are a bit more nuanced than black and white, but to make matters simple, people usually define themselves as one or the other.

I would consider myself to be one of those big picture people. The details usually overwhelm me if I don’t overlook them completely. The problem with starting a business is that if one is doing it alone, one must do both the big picture and detail-oriented stuff. Today I am working on the details. Needless to say, it is rough. I’m reading a book entitled “The Perfect Business Plan Made Simple.” It’s thrilling. I think I’ve spent more time staring out the window than actually reading it. It does have some valuable information, but the language and details get to me. I felt the same way when I took a grant writing class in my final semester in college. Grant writing is a highly detail-oriented aspect of non-profits and after not being in the class for long, I began to feel like I really didn’t belong there. At one point the professor made a joke about how the big picture people in a non-profit have their heads in the clouds while everyone else is getting stuff done. Everyone in the class laughed, including me for a bit until I realized that she was essentially talking about me. (She later professed that big-picture people are important to the organization too, but it was obvious that she didn’t quite understand them.) One of the most frustrating things about being big-picture is that there are no entry-level jobs other than self-starting.

The thing about self-starting is that while it is touted as a primarily big-picture person activity, it requires a lot of work in the details. It feels like I can’t win. I can only find two solutions to this problem: really push myself out of my comfort-zone, or get a business partner.

The Details of a Business Plan:

Outline
A. Contents
B. Executive Summary
C. Mission and Strategy Statement
D. Market
1. Background
2. The Customer Need
3. Who the Customers Are
4. Product/Service Description
5. Strategy/Approach
6. Competitive Analysis
7. Pricing/Profitability
E. Operations (of the Business)
1. Sources of Input and Costs
2. Processes
3. Equipment
F. Management/Staffing
1. Backgrounds and Qualifications of Key Players
2. Staffing Plan
G. Financial Projections
1. Current Financials (if an Existing Business)
2. Projected Financial Statement
3. Application of Funding Requested
4. Capital Structure
H. Contingency Planning
1. Appendices
-supporting documents
-additional detail as required