My mom entrepreneur clients and seminar participants squirm and cringe when I talk about writing a business plan for their home business. They want to jump into the creativity and start making money!
Enthusiasm and creativity will carry you far, but not far enough. You must have a plan for your business.
“It’s too formal.” “It’s too boring.” “I don’t have the software.” “It’s going to take me months.” “I don’t know how.” “I don’t have the time.” ” I already know what I want to do in my business.”
All of the above statements are UNTRUTHS and are not applicable when when writing a business plan. A business plan is exciting…even electrifying! You can do it in less than a day with paper and pencil. And for those of you who have the plan stored in your head, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
The old adage is true the woman who, “fail to plan, plans to fail.”
Do I really need a business plan?
Not all small businesses require a business plan. But every business owner need to have one. I help my clients write a business plan that is very simple, succinct, and strategic.
Why is a business plan necessary?
Glad you asked. Building a business takes a lot of foresight. You have to hang on to the details of the future while you’re operating in the present.
When your present time is divided between babies needs, household responsibilities, grocery shopping, spouse’s expectations, piles of laundry…do I need to go on…it becomes very apparent that the future details of your business can quickly become lost.
Consequently, you will find yourself lost and unable to be effective in your entrepreneurial pursuit.
A business plan:
- allows you to stay focused on the present and the future at the same time.
- helps you define your goals
- helps you determine the methods you will use to accomplish them
- predict the profitability of your business
- measure your progress
- serves as a communication instrument for bankers when you need a business loan
So mom entrepreneurs, yes you must have one! It’s the only way to clearly define your success and that clearly defined path is the first step to getting there.
Tomorrow I’ll address the formalities of a business plan and help you determine what you don’t need for yours.
In the meantime look at Palo Alto Software. It has simple step-by step instructions; over 500 editable sample business plans included for all sorts of businesses so that you can find a sample plan and use it as a guide to write your own. And it comes highly recommended for small businesses like yours.
“A great example of an out-of-box solution that is user-friendly and produces a formatted final product you can circulate among potential investors.”
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“Use this software and kick butt!”
Guy Kawasaki, Author, Art of the Start