Starting a business is much the same as beginning a road trip to some far away destination that you’ve never been to before.
Hopefully the journey will be a pleasant one and will provide you with the profit and satisfaction that you desire.
You’ll find that this journey is often a “thankless” one, but the rewards and the experiences along the way will more than compensate for the many hours of tedious dedication.
I have met many many entrepreneurs that were all packed and ready to go on their business journey, but when asked if they had planned out the trip, the course, the route they were going to take . . . they had given no time or attention to writing down how they intended to proceed.
They were just going to “wing it” and move from one day to the next down the path that seemed to be the correct one at the time.
When asked whether they had ever thought about or taken the time to prepare a business plan, most said that they hadn’t.
Here are some additional reasons given by many beginning owners that decided to sidestep the business planning process:
I don’t know how to write a meaningful plan.
I don’t have the time to get to it right now (or I’ll do it later).
I thought business plans were only required of those trying to get bank financing.
I can’t possibly predict what is going to happen in my market so why speculate?
I know what I’m doing and where I’m going – it’s all recorded in my head.
I don’t need a plan because me business is very small and I’m the solo employee.
No one can predict the future so why waste time in making projections?
It’s too costly . . . it’s too complicated . . . it’s too time consuming.
When will I ever use my plan once I’m up and running my business?
Contrary to popular opinion, the term “plan” doesn’t have to be considered a four-letter word.
Think of your business plan as simply a way of describing or mapping out how you plan to get your business from here to there . . . from where you are today at zero revenue to whatever your profit goals or intentions are when your business is running as you dream it will be someday.
Don’t freak out or stress over the fact that you’re not a good business thinker or a good business writer.
Going through the exercise of thinking about what will go into your plan and putting those thoughts down in writing is what’s important.
No two business plans will look exactly the same.
Don’t worry that the business planning police will arrest you for an omission or the incorrect organization of the report itself.
You engage in this exercise because it is good for your business.
Is there a better reason why you should spend time on this activity?
Who cares if your plan isn’t perfect?
Who cares if it’s not the text book perfect document that an MBA student might be graded on?
We will be going into further detail about how to write an effective, workable, and valuable business plan in the near future.
What I hope you’ll get from this short discussion is this:
1. There are many reasons, critical to your new business success, why you must have a business plan.
2. Writing down the plan on paper is a must.
3. Don’t stress about the plan’s organization, how it looks, or how you’re going to come up with meaningful contents for the plan – we will help you produce a plan that is just right for your business.
4. You should have a plan in place prior to launching your business. If you’re already in business and don’t have a plan, you should take a short “time out” and prepare one.
5. The process can be as simple or as complicated as you make it. Don’t worry that you don’t know how to do this . . . it’s easy with the right kind of help.
6. There are some excellent business plan models and examples free online that you can use as a guide or a case study to follow in preparing your own plan. Take advantage of these free resources.
If you’re striking out on a long, extended journey to a place that you’ve never been to before, don’t you think that it would be a good idea to figure out just how you’re going to get there before you leave?
Do you know what the very best assurance of success on finding your destination would be?
How about this?
Find someone who has already been to that place and ask them to show you the way!
Let’s do this together.
To your online business success,