A Business Plan for Getting Punched in the Face


“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.”
– Mike Tyson, boxing legend  

Running a startup is kind of like a boxing match. Founders duck and weave from problems and challenges, landing enough jabs and hooks of their own to become a success. Despite Iron Mike’s advice to the contrary, having a plan is key for a successful startup. 

I asked two #StartupGVL experts, Program Director of the Women’s Business Center at Community Works Jov’an Benjamin, and Village Launch Program Director Jeanette Brewster, the benefits of having a business plan and tips on how to make it happen. 

Round 1: Why You Need a Plan

“A well-crafted business plan is crucial for establishing a thriving business,” says Benjamin. “It serves as a guide to steer you through obstacles and determine your future actions.”  

Brewster agrees.  


“It’s important to get one just to get the ideas out of your head,” she says. “I think it makes it real when you put it on paper. You’re able to really analyze your ideas and organize what that looks like.”  

In addition to organization, Benjamin points out many lenders require a well-structured business plan for funding 

Round 2: Don’t Be Scared!
Writing a business plan can be intimidating, but Benjamin and Brewster point out #StartupGVL has free and affordable resources to lessen the fear. 

Still, if you’re intimidated by crafting a formal business plan, there’s an alternative: Lean Canvas. All Village Launch program participants use Lean Canvas, which streamlines the process.   

“We even encourage our entrepreneurs to use sticky notes,” Brewster says. “It helps them put all their solutions out there and see what really works.” 

What’s great is that founders can convert their Lean Canvas plan into a more traditional business plan later on. 

Round 3: Research & Evolve 
Don’t be fooled, planning of any kind takes hard work. A common mistake founders make when crafting their plans is not doing enough research. 

 “Despite the abundance of online resources, templates, and expensive business plans offered by experts, they often lack the essential content required for securing a loan from lenders,” Benjaman said. 

Brewster points out that business plans are not written in stone. 

“The business plan is a living, breathing document,” she says. “It’s something you should refer back to, you should make adjustments.” 

So, founders: with #StartupGVL resources in your corner, put on your gloves, step in the ring, and start throwing haymakers! 

About the Author

John Sweeney

Explorer. Conversationalist. Disney History Nerd. John Sweeney is a Communication Project Manager for the City of Greenville, working specifically on #StartupGVL. John is an Ohio native who has lived in South Carolina for nearly 20 years. He enjoys talking with entrepreneurs, exploring the wonders of the Upstate with his family and expanding his knowledge of Walt Disney based historical trivia.
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