That’s because the traditional business plan we’ve all been pointed towards by everyone we know is pretty rigid, formal and leaves no room to customize it. Until now!
When making your plan, it is important that you understand its goal – if you were a football coach, it would be like your game playbook. If you were a head chef at a five star restaurant, it would be your recipes.
The intention of creating one is to focus a new or existing business owner on: a) why you are going into business b) what makes your business different from the competition – and – c) are you financially viable? Any business plan you create needs to answer these three points we’ve just mentioned. And if you can’t, it’s time to go back to the drawing board and do some serious thinking about why you want to be in business or how you can answer these successfully.
a) why you are going into business?
b) what makes your business different from the competition?
c) are you financially viable?
Any business plan you create needs to answer these three points we’ve just mentioned. And if you can’t, it’s time to go back to the drawing board and do some serious thinking about why you want to be in business or how you can answer these successfully.
More and more start-ups are turning to Crowdfunding, whether for a project or to actually get launched. There are even companies that will help manage your Crowdfund launch! Some solopreneurs or entrepreneurs of decades ago have stories about starting companies on their maxed out credit cards, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Keep in mind that you’re going to want a polished business plan idea most often – before you get out there to introduce yourself on a Crowdfunding platform. People invest in an idea they think “has legs.”
One of the best things about writing your business plan is the experience is going to make you think – sometimes harder than before – about why you are starting this business. Go into it with the expectation that you aren’t simply going to write a first draft and be done. There will likely be a second and even a third draft before you’re through.
Today’s business owners don’t have to go it alone. There are non-profit organizations such as SCORE that offer free advice to help you launch your new business. If you’re trying to create a business plan, not sure how to get started or want to think a little “outside the box” then likely you need someone with more experience to guide you. Don’t be shy about speaking up and asking for help. They may point out something you’ve neglected to do or will praise you on the hard work you’ve done that will lead you down the road to success.
Millennials especially prefer to use digital tools. They are easy, convenient and let you adapt material easily. For example, let’s take a look at Google Docs. If you do your business plan in a Google Doc, you can access it on different computers that you have, even show it to co-founders as you “tweak” and polish it. Try asking questions about your ideal customers, intended products and service to your friends on social media for quick feedback. It’s like having your own focus group right at your fingertips!
Sometimes to create a business plan you need extra help. A professional writer, business owner or business coach may be ideal people to turn to. You could also go to your local college, university or technical school and ask a professor if they would consult on your business plan if it relates to your field. Having that professional knowledge and experience truly can make a world of difference!