Do You Have a Business Plan for your Small Business?
Let me guess, when you first started your home-based business you told yourself that you didn’t really need a Business Plan.
“I’m just a baby, I’ll get to it when I’m bigger.” you told yourself. “No-one really looks at their business plan right?” you questioned. “I’m too busy right now doing work that really matters when it comes to growing my business, I’ll get around to writing something up if I ever have to show it to someone.” you reasoned.
Fast forward 4 months and now you feel scattered, distracted, and more than just a little overwhelmed. Your brain is running around in a hundred different directions and your Daily Planner is so full of immediate “To-Do’s” that you never feel like you make any real progress.
You also realize that you don't have anywhere to contain all of your long-term thoughts, plans, and aspirations. When you pause long enough to listen, you hear a little voice in the back of your head that keeps saying, ”You should have done that Business Plan…”
How Did You Know?!
If it sounds like I've been in your head, there is a very good reason. When I started CWBB I waited to write my business plan until the business was more "official" and off the ground. Fast forward two months later and I finally got tired of having to constantly flip through my 3 jam-packed notebooks of “Business Notes” whenever I wanted to find one of my brilliant ideas, so I sat down to fill out my business plan.
That was when I quickly realized that the process wasn't going to be as easy as I thought. When I started researching what needed to include in my business plan, I was shocked at the amount of info and the conflicting views on what all need to be included!
All of a sudden, plan “Fill out a Quick Business Plan so I can Save my Sanity” felt more like a plan to “Spend Valuable Days and Hours Researching Info I May or May-Not Ever Use”.
I felt like writing a business plan would be incredibly helpful for my fledgling business and our future growth, but I also knew that there had to be a better plan for writing up a plan for a small, online business like my own.
After many hours of additional research, tons of open tabs, pages of notes copied into Word and an entire new board of Pins, I came to the realization that there wasn’t another resource out there that spoke to small businesses in a real way that acknowledged not only their business goals, but their life goals as well.
There was no resource out there that talked to real entrepreneurs, in a helpful way, using everyday language to help them create a plan that would point them in the direction of success. Hours of research left me more confused than ever and thinking; “There has to be a better way!”
Why Traditional Business Plans Don't Work:
Traditional business plans are often bulky, outdated, and cumbersome for today's modern entrepreneur. Did you know that the average business plan is 30 to 50 pages long and can be upwards of 150 pages?!
Not only that, but they don't even touch on the life you want to live outside of your biz. I mean, didn't you start your business to gain more time and financial freedom? Why do business plans not address our lives and schedules outside of our business then?
Oh, and if you need help pulling together that monstrosity of a business plan, the going rate for a Business Plan Consultant is between $3,000-$15,000! It isn’t unusual for the rate to get into the tens of thousands!! I don’t know about you, but if I had $10,000 extra dollars in my business, investing in a business plan would not be my first choice!
That leaves most of us strappy, entrepreneurial types to do what we do best; research how to do it ourselves. Except, when we research it for ourselves there is an overload of info all geared to “Big Business” and companies looking to apply for major loans and start-up capital.
Where are the resources for the little guy (or gal!) that wants a financially successful business while still living a pretty amazing life away from work?
After hours of researching I realized that I had more questions than I did when I started. Questions like: What do I really need to include in this thing? Who is this even for; myself, the bank, an imaginary board? Does it really need to include all of this? Why do none of these plans include any part of my life goals outside of work? Will I even use this after I put all this work into it?
Below is a pretty accurate picture of the exact process I went through when trying to write my own small business plan:
The Old Way to Write a Business Plan:
Even though the above graphic is meant to be humerous, it’s also completely true for a lot of small business owners. You know you need a plan, but it just doesn’t feel like it’s worth the work for the return. Well, I’m happy to tell you that there is a better way!
Why you need a Better Business Plan:
What if I told you that there was a resource out there that was actually designed to take your business from frazzled and frenzied to calm and collected? What if that same resource served as a trusted guide and partner with you in your business to keep you focused, energized, and excited about achieving your goals in and out of your business?
While we're at it, wouldn't it be great if we a tool that could keep all of the following aspects of our business in line:
- Real-life budgets and timelines-Check!
- A way to align and plan for personal as well as business goals-Check!
- A place to identify your ideal customer and how to speak to them in their language-Check!
- An overview of your Social Media plan and a guide to building relevant content-Check!
- Real-time updates and insights on the health of your business-Check!
These topics, along with loads of additional goodness, form the structure of the “Better Business Plan”.
This plan is not meant to be written once and filed away in your filing cabinet never to be seen again,
No! This plan is meant to be a partner, a living, ever-changing document that sees you through the good times, refocuses you in the hard times, and walks alongside you as you grow your business to new and exciting heights.
Technology has forever changed our world and the world of business, but somehow our business plans have not gotten the memo. It’s time to embrace technology and use it as the tool it is to create, edit, and use the “Better Business Plan” to help your business flourish.
Once completed, you will save your Better Business Plan on your computer so you can update constantly, share with team members easily, and utilize the plan to its fullest potential.
I know in my own business, once I completed the Better Business Plan, my business started growing and my brain was less taxed with random thoughts! The BB Plan grounded me and gave me a place to come back to in order to unload my mind, refocus my intention, and gear myself up for new ideas.
If you are a small business owner, an online entrepreneur, or a home-based business boss, then it is time stop stressing, stop procrastinating, and start growing a focused and successful business that you love!
If you have been on the fence about starting your own business plan, please join me on the Christian Women Business Builders Facebook page where you can watch the “Better Business Plan Bootcamp” Series. During this 5-Day video series you'll learn some great tips and tricks to get started on your own Better Business Plan! (All 5 trainings can be found under the video tab)
Tell me More!
If you are a business owner and know that Right Now is time to get your genius out of your head and out of all of the random notebooks and to turn it into an action-oriented game plan for growing your business, then hop on over to the “Better Business Plan Blueprint” Program and start writing your Better Business Plan today!