7 Simple Steps to a Better Business Plan

Here are 7 easy tips to help you get started right now on your business plan.

It’s possible that even though you may have all this information on doing a business plan, you may not be any further ahead. We understand. The first time you do something is the hardest…

Like Mr. Miyagi in the Karate Kid movies taught his protégé: Wax on; Wax off… over and over again. The more often you do something the more “expert” you become at it.

Follow these seven “simple” steps and then you can get a business plan together pretty quickly:

Step 1: Start with the end in mind – you need to visualize and be able to describe what you want at the end of the day.

Step 2: Write it down. Do not worry about competing with Shakespeare – he wasn’t so good at the business side of things, but do take the time to jot done your ideas and expectations, starting with Step 1.

Step 3: What is your USP? What is your unique selling proposition? Are you going to be the “best” in the world, the city, the block? Do you need to be the best? Watch out for superlatives when describing your business and focus on customer benefits and value.

Step 4: How will you make money? Are you going to be selling a widget? How much for the widget? What goes into the making or acquiring of the widget? You do not need to be an accountant to explain this, but do take the time to follow the advice in step 2 – write it down!

Step 5: Who (whom my fifth grade grammar teacher would have corrected) will be buying whatever it is you are selling? How do you know them? How will you reach them? How will you grow them? By answering these questions (in writing) you will have the basis of a marketing plan.

Step 6: Putting together an operational budget and cash flow. It might sound complicated but work your budget by extending out Step 4. Do your cash flow by including your sales from your marketing plan.

Step 7: Do you have your exit plan ready? Again, working as a guerrilla means having the end in mind. Having that end forces us to have a firm understanding of our current situation. Answering some queries in a “partnership” questionnaire may help.

“Wait, I do these seven steps and I will have a business plan?” No, but you will have the necessary components to now begin to build your plan – whether using a kit or a third party service!

Keep smiling!