Back in college, I was writing a business plan for a client, printing page after page, knowing he’d likely never read it.
It was so full of stuff he didn’t need. The difference between him and a typical company was that he was starting an online company, with no intention of selling or showing that business plan to anyone else.
So, all that time I spent looking up news articles to support his idea and then writing a full page discussing why the article supports his idea, was pointless and likely never read.
The typical business plan that my professors had us create for him didn’t suit him and his business needs, because he wasn’t building a typical business.
That’s when I realized that maybe business plans didn’t have to follow any rules or guidelines. It’s a plan for YOUR business, who’s to say you need the same type of business plan as everyone else?
I knew entrepreneurs and small business owners needed a business plan that didn’t quite fit the mold of your typical business plan. When you’re a one-woman show, doing it all and kicking butt you’re probably thinking a business plan isn’t for you.
These are the most common myths that go through your mind when you think about a business plan:
1. It’s only for big companies
You don’t need to make millions or have an office in Manhattan to create a business plan. Think of it as a roadmap for your business. Don’t you want clarity into your next steps by knowing what your goals are and how exactly you’re going to make it all happen? You’ll know what strategies to implement and test each one to make sure you’re getting the most results for your effort.
2. You need to have a lot of employees
It doesn’t matter if your marketing manager, content creator and video editor all happen to be you or if you have a small team. Typical business plans focus on the organizational structure – basically a pyramid of the top dog at the company and break it down into a hierarchy of who reports to who and what everyone’s roles are. I didn’t need that for my business plan (shout out to the ladies building their dreams solo!) so I totally skipped it.
Instead, I focus on what goals I need to reach, how I can make it happen and then break it down into monthly tasks so I can plan out my weeks and days. This way, if I do hire someone, I can see what tasks I need help with and have a clear plan already set out to pass it right along to them.
3. You only need it if you’re looking for investors
Don’t worry, everyone thinks this. And everyone’s wrong. You don’t need to be looking for investors to have a plan for your business. All a business plan means is that you want to create a business that reaches goals, attracts the right people and create systems that allow you to run your life, without it running you. No investors, I promise.
Are you convinced you need a business plan yet or did you decide you want to keep driving yourself crazy keeping your business afloat? Yeah, I thought so!
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