If you want to make a life, make a plan. Especially if you are a startup business, plan!
From the start, let’s be clear: there is nothing unspiritual or scary about planning. Neither is planning something that is rigid and formal.
In this blog I’ll get into a little about how to make a business plan you will fall in love with, so keep your eyes and ears open. Here’s how a business plan helps you.
What is business planning?
The answer to your questions!
Seriously, planning gives you the answers you are looking for.
Your plan ensures you are accountable for making your vision a success. It keeps you on track, on time and budget. No matter whether you make a business or a life, your plan gets you there.
Also, a plan shows you where the gaps are and what you need to do to fill them. Important if you don’t want to be blinded by the odd curve ball life throws from time to time.
Looking for opportunities? Your business plan will highlight those for you too.
These are three awesome benefits, but does a plan make a business?
Without a plan, epic fails occur.
In order to get your vision for life, business success or whatever you choose off the ground and made a real part of your life, you have to have some sort of plan or strategy in place.
So, why bother with planning when you can wing it? Simply put, my first business failed and my life sucked. My second business is a success and I’m loving life. The difference: a plan.
How to ‘make’ a business plan?
There is no real right or wrong way to plan, but there are certain elements you need to cover. Any Google search will bring up a number of free business plan templates.
That’s great, remember though, it’s what goes in the plan that matters most.
Allow me to save you the time of googling: Here’s what to put in your plan:
- Executive Summary – the ‘shop window’ of your plan, the juicy bits.
- The Business – this is the background, why you do what you do, how the business operates, goals, expansion plans and what makes you, well you.
- Strategic Flow & Management – this section is all about who you are, your ‘why’, partners involved, where you show your strengths and weaknesses, any risks or successes crucial to your success.This is the heart of the business plan.
- Market & Marketing – here we look at your service or production detail. Along with the objectives of your marketing, your Unique Selling Point, ideal clients, current clients, pricing and promotion and anything else around getting your business out in the wider world. This is the voice of your plan.
- The Business Set –up/Operations – talk about legalities, this is where they go. Your legal structure, premises, key performance indicators, systems, equipment… the lot!
- The Budget & Financial Analysis – this section is of particular interest to you if you’d like to make a profit. Also, funders love seeing how realistic your financials are. So if you want them to show you the money, show them your forecasts for sales, profit and loss.
It’s easy when you see it all there. Filling in the blanks, that’s where the real meatiness is. Remember though, it’s the details that go into the plan that make or break your dreams. Get them right.
Falling in love with your planning
Can you see already how just thinking about the plan is already getting your brain whizzing and getting your ideas into perspective?
Don’t be surprised if you start making a few decisions more quickly…
Your plan is the unconditional love you have for what you do, that urge to ensure you are doing the right things at the right time.
Regularly tick off each success as you go along, mark each goal and objective as achieved and review what you are doing. That way you’ll always be on top of things, and who wouldn’t love you more for that?
Now go off, write your plan and then tell me what happens… Sharing keeps you accountable.
Cheryl-lya is a Transition Strategist: helping women around the globe plan launch and grow successful sustainable businesses & careers. She is London based and runs workshops alongside one-to-one coaching. Contact her: call UK mobile 07527 303 911, or visit her website soulscompass.net Say ‘hello’ or share your joys via email: firstname.lastname@example.org