Today we’re talking about the one thing we’d so rather skip: Creating a business plan for your business.
If you haven’t done this already, this is something that you need to do. Whether you’re just getting started or you’re getting ready to level up, this is just one of those things that helps so much when it comes to clarity and direction as you make decisions and move forward.
Keep reading to see just how easy it can be.
I know what you’re thinking… “Why the heck would I want to put myself through this? What’s the purpose, anyway?”
Here’s my one word answer: CLARITY.
The purpose of a business plan is to help you clarify the What, When, Where, Why and How of your business.
It provides clarity and answers all of the unknowns that we just hope will fall into place as we build and grow our business. But it doesn’t always happen that way. Sometimes it does, sure. But we can get to where we want to go so much faster if we are able to clearly define what it is we’re after and articulate how we pan to get there.
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Literally, you can create an entire business plan in an hour. It’s not that crazy of a job. If you’re looking to create a crazy in depth business plan to obtain financing or funding, that’s a little bit different. But if you are in a service related business or a creative business, and you just want to develop a “plan” you don’t have to get too crazy.
An hour is all it’s going to take and it will be the best thing you ever did. It’s going to help you create that clarity in your business that outlines what you’re about, what your purpose is and who you serve.
It’s also going to help you outline your goals so that you can see the bigger picture and then figure our your strategy so that you can take the necessary baby steps to achieve those big picture goals. And perhaps the greatest benefit is that it will give you amazing confidence in knowing that you’re on the right track and you’ve got this!
What do you need in your business plan?
Vision Statement: The big picture purpose of your business. This answers the question, “Why am I in business in the first place?”
Mission Statement: How are you going to create that vision? What is it that you’re going to do to make that vision happen?
Unique Value Proposition: This is all about you. How are you different than the millions of other people in your industry that are doing exactly what you do? This is what makes you special and unique. This is what attracts people to you, which is why this is an important part of your business plan.
Brand Personality: What kind of vibe, environment and atmosphere are you creating? You can be a fun, easy going and laid back business. You could be super formal, and really serious. You need to determine all that because everything you do in your business is going to reflect back on that. It’s like having a party. Is it black tie? Or casual flip-flop attire? Once you determine that, that sets the tone for the kind of people you’re going to attract.
Ideal Customer Avatar: This is the one you really want to spend a few minutes on. Think about who you want to serve. Who is she? What does she struggle with? What keeps her up at night? What are her innermost personal fears, things that embarrass her or things that she’s ashamed of? What does she wish she could change about herself or her life? What causes her guilt or pain or frustration? Where does she hang out? If you’re looking for her on social media, where is she? If you’re looking for her in your local community, where is she? Why does she need you? How can you help her?
Business Goals: Setting business goals is about two things: goal strategy (the goal and the plan) and goal mindset (the resolve to stick to the plan). I recommend setting some big picture goals as well as short term goals. What do you want to accomplish in 5 years? Then break that down. What needs to happen this year to stay on track to make that happen? Those become your 1-year goals. Then break it down further. What do you need to happen quarterly in order to achieve those 1 year goals? This is what I use to establish my monthly goals. I don’t write the monthly goals in my actually business plan, but I do use my plan as a jumping off point to set some of my monthly goals. This also forces me to review my business plan on a monthly basis and make any changes that are relevant and necessary.
Marketing Strategy: How is the world going to know that you’re doing what your doing? How are you going to promote yourself? Are you going to do Facebook videos? Youtube videos? Blog? Are you going to market on social media? Pay for ads? Are you going to call up your friends and family and say, “Hey, this is what I”m doing… If you know anyone, please put them in touch with me”? Are you going to attend networking events?
Service Offerings: How are you going to monetize your business? Are you charging by the hour? For service packages? Long term service agreements or small quick projects? What price accurately reflects your worth?
Write it all down. That’s all there is to it. It’s super simple! It sounds like a lot, but it’s really not.
You can literally have this done within the hour!
Need more help laying out your business? Have you thought about working with a coach?
I’d love to chat with you to see if