PlanHQ – Must use software product for entrepreneurs?

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Entrepreneurs, take hold of your businesses.

PlanHQ is the site you would want to spend all of your time on. I think its a great idea and a great product in that it lets entrepreneurs not only create their business plans, but also get challenged to thoroughly think through their business (based on Business School practices built into the system). Finally, it lets people actively use that information to manage and monitor the business on a day-to-day basis.

Their 30-day trial is rather useless given how much information you have to put in before the system can become useful (the trial would end by the time you put everything in), but if you are willing to put down $24 – $49 / month (ouch!?) I think it would be worth the effort.

Their pricing is a bit high though, considering (all said and done) an Excel sheet could be configured to run similar numbers / comparisons.

Do check out the demo though — very impressive AJAX execution for geeks to adore.

Ofcourse, although the system exists, what entrepreneurs need is a proactive team that works together in the way that they’ve designed the system to support (e.g. engrs giving responses to “What do you think of our next milestone”)?

In Pakistan typically the CEO is the only person sweating and living sleeplessly for the glory of the company — the employees for smaller companies typically dont care the least about the company’s success. I’ve seen places where they dont even report progress against deadlines let alone participate actively in the business monitoring of the startup.

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  • Thanks Osama,

    It is definitely more beneficial when you’re collaborating with a team around the plan, interesting that its usually just the CEO in Pakistan, there are a lot more small mediums around now who manage collectively, and I’ve always run teams where we work together on direction and everyone has to buy into it, and own it,

    thanks,
    Tim

  • Tim,

    I think its smart for every small entrepreneur to share vision with the team — that’s the only way they can survive.

    The trouble that atleast I’ve seen in PK with a few companies is that young kids from local colleges will think that they know how the world works better than an experienced CEO (which might be fine) but to the extent of denying vision.

    Once you get to hear from these young kids things like “No I just want a job that’s a job — I dont want to care about it, I just want to work and get paid” — when you hear that, you know sharing vision wont help.

  • Osama,
    I would like to mention that there are few startups which work together as a team. In my opinion this attitude comes from the CEO. If he is willing to listen and involve every one on his vision and take criticism from the team they really do come forward. but if the CEO works completely on his own the team usually stays away and ready to jump when the ship starts to sink. I know startups where the the initial members are still part of the company and have really worked to bring up those companies.

  • Qazi,

    That is generally true, and maybe I havent met the right mix of people but have heard of some stealth-mode startups with highly committed teams too.

    But again its also the attitude of the people working — people who are excited about making a difference or doing something grand can fit in demanding startup environments and move vision forward.

    People who just want easy money and just some job to pass the days do not. These type of people never even ask anything about the business model or plan to begin with — it’s more of a “Tell me what to do and I’ll do it” thing from the start.

    Another example is companies who set up a very open US type of internal culture, where the CEOs and Managers’ work is transparent and their doors are always open for questions / critique / engagements.

    There are people who appreciate this, and others who say “bah — look at this ceo, his door is open and he’s always available to talk, that probably means he isn’t doing anything”

  • Its a cool website, but what’s more interesting is that they’re based out of New Zealand, and as I understand it, developed the slick functionality with just 3 developers.

    A good team can go a long way.

    If you want to be frugal, you can do something similar by throwing together some G-docs, and basecamp projects. Oh well, the life of a poor entrepreneur.

  • Interesting, Its definitely about finding the right people I think thats what everyone seems to be suggesting here. Good people are what make things happen, and as you said Osama, It’s about having people who are out to make a difference! to me thats number 1.

  • @Adnan: Small teams have their benefits and if you are using bleeding edge technology like RoR, size doesn’t matter, IMHO.

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