Write YOUR Business Plan
December is National Write a Business Plan Month. It is time to ink your plans and put the wheels in motion to make your plans your reality!
You may be wondering, do I really need a business plan as a solopreneur or small business owner? YES! You will need a formal written business plan to get bank funding or investors. And even if you are self-financing, a business plan is a roadmap to reach your goals. A business plan helps you identify your significant keys to success, create a long-term strategy, balance resources, make better decisions, and turn goals into concrete action plans.
Studies have shown that businesses that strategically plan are twice as likely to succeed
and grow 30% faster than those who don’t.
Have you written a business plan? If yes, when was the last time you looked at it or updated it? A business plan is a living document that evolves with your business, so it needs to be updated as your business grows and evolves, typically at least yearly.
How to Write a Business Plan
If you look up “how to write a business plan” on Google, you’ll find tons of resources. My favorites are www.sba.gov, www.inc.com, www.bplans.com, www.wework.com, and www.entrepreneur.com. The key takeaway here is that there is no right or wrong way to craft your business plan. How much or how little you include depends on the audience (even if it is just you) and your business needs.
The Small Business Administration provides free templates for the two most common types of business plan. The full-blown business plan is typically anywhere from 15 – 100 pages and the intense level of detail is necessary in order to secure bank or investor funding. If you need help creating a full-blown business plan, reach out to your local SCORE office. They will pair you with a mentor who can walk you through what you need.
The “lean plan” can be as short as a single page. The one page plan (see example on bplans.com) is great for a start-up proof of concept, but doesn’t dig deep enough to be of any lasting value.
The Plan Challenge
Unless you need funding, my recommendation is a hybrid of the two that provides a more in-depth look than the lean plan, but doesn’t have you working for weeks to complete! In fact, in honor of National Write a Business Plan month, I’m hosting a four week challenge in my Facebook Group, starting TODAY! If you join me every Wednesday this month, you’ll have a completed business plan before Christmas!
My Hybrid Business Plan will include four main sections, each with 3-5 subsections. When complete, your Business Plan will be roughly ten pages long. Plan to devote about an hour each week to complete the section for the week. CLICK THIS LINK to join now!