Yes, everyone in business should have a business plan……
One of the first things a start-up entrepreneur should do is create a business plan. Yes, everyone in business should have a business plan, whether they want to apply for funding or not. Entrepreneurs need to create a plan and analyze their business as carefully as a bank would, because any business owner will be investing money, time and effort in the enterprise. It is important to decide if the business will be viable and to create the best plan to for success. Business plans can be as short as one page or a few or long and detailed. It really just depends on the type of business and what the plan needs to accomplish.
Many entrepreneurs dig in their heels when it comes time to do a business plan, as they don’t like doing that type of work. They love to offer and create the products and services that is driven by their passion. But to be truly successful in business, many things must be done that have nothing directly to do with the product or service the business offers. The business plan is at the top of the list for the must do’s for any business to be successful.
A good plan states the vision statement, mission statement, structure and products or services of the business. It explains the problem that the business will solve for the customer. A plan also details market research to study competitors and potential customers and pricing. This determines if there is a need for this business model and if it can make it financially. Once that is determined, the plan also describes the unique customer (avatar) in detail. It is important to know who they are, where they hang out, both in the real world and the virtual world, and what their interests and needs are. This is important to know for marketing, communication and pricing. The plan also should include detailed marketing and financial plans and projections. There should be strategies laid out for growth over time, with benchmarks along the way, as well as a SWOT (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis. Every business plan should also have a list of its team structure including, attorneys, accountants, insurance agents, bankers, mentors and collaborators.
Don’t feel boxed in by a business plan.
The mindful part of doing a business plan is the sitting down, being in the moment and strategically researching and creating a map for the business’s future. Many entrepreneurs start businesses with minimal planning and organization. They are excited about the service or product they have to offer and go headlong into spending money and time in unstructured ways as they start the business. This often leads to failure. Don’t feel boxed in by a business plan. It is a fluid, living document that can and should change through time.
If you are thinking of starting a business be mindful to have a plan and if you have started your business without one, it is not too late to create one now. If you feel overwhelmed by this or need accountability and you would like help contact me to set up a free 30 minute session to see if business coaching/consulting is right for you.