The Three Blind Mice & Your Business Plan


3 blind miceWe've all hear the nursery song "Three Blind Mice."

It goes like this:

Three blind mice,
Three blind mice
See how they run,
See how they run!

They all ran after
The farmer's wife,
She cut off their tails
With a carving knife
Did you ever see
Such a sight in your life
As three blind mice?

But have you heard the "more educated" version called "A Trio of Sightless Rodents." It goes like this:

A trio of sightless rodents,
A trio of sightless rodents
Observe how they perambulate
Observe how they perambulate;

They all pursued the agriculturalist's spouse,
Who severed their caudal appendages with a carving utensil
Have you previously observed such a phenomenon in your existence
As a trio of sightless rodents?

Both versions say the same thing.

And I guess if you wanted to impress someone, you'd tell them the "more educated" version of the tale.

But, most likely, listeners would tune out the "more educated" version.

Why? Because it's much harder to follow and makes them think way too much.

Conversely, the simple "Three Blind Mice" version is easier to follow.

The point is this -- if you can't communicate simply, clearly and concisely, people won't understand what you're talking about. They are not going to invest the time and mental brainpower to figure out what you mean.

And if you are communicating to get someone to take action, be it to buy your product or invest in your company, if you lack clarity, you will virtually always lose the sale.

Most business plans lack this critical clarity. The entrepreneur makes the business far too complex. And as a result, investors don't understand what they are doing, and don't invest in the business.

Here's a test to see if you're communicating your business' value proposition properly. Give someone one minute to read the first paragraphs of your business plan. Then, a minute later, have them repeat back to you the business' value proposition (without looking at the document). If their version is good, you've done a good job concisely explaining your business. If not, then it's back to the drawing board.

Even better, have the first person state the value proposition to a second person, and then have the second person repeat it back to you. A clear, compelling message will survive this grapevine.

When I created Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template, I focused on making every section of the business plan simple, clear and concise. So that investors can quickly understand all the key points about your business. And so they will invest. Because certainly, investors will not invest in what they don't understand.

So, make sure all of your verbal and written communications, starting with your business plan, are simple, clear and concise so everyone "gets" it and takes the actions you desire.

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Pete Canalichio says

I'm finding the more and more I talk about the benefits of borrowing other companies' brands to grow your own business, the more I am finding I have to say it in simpler words and say it several different ways. For example I have begun talking about the subject in this way, "How would you like to take the number one brand in your category on your next sales call?" or "Want to know how to lasso the world's greatest brands?" While I am sure I can improve, I believe I am making some inroads from my original inquiry that sounded something like "Do you think you could benefit from becoming a licensee so you can license a brand from a licensor?" Simplicity in communication is definitely key.
Posted at 10:17 am
Egils Kļava says

That is right. The text must be simple and easy to understand. Otherwise people are not interested – especially it’s true concerning investors and potential clients. They won’t invest a “tons” of their time to get the point of our idea.
Posted at 5:07 am

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