You hear it every time you mention you want to start a business. “You need a business plan.”
Then next words you hear are almost always, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
Blah, blah, blah!
You really do need a business plan, but you need to know why and what needs to be in the plan.
Why do you need a business plan?
You need a plan for one major reason: clarity.
You need clarity in what your business is, what it’s going to do to make money, and how you’re going to succeed.
Your plan is the document you refer to repeatedly when you need guidance on what the next step is from where you’re at.
A plan is written in a nice quiet setting that allows you to calmly consider your ideas, make plans, and define yourself and your business. It’s the view from 30,000 feet of what you want your business to be.
Later, when you’re insanely busy running around actually running the business, the business plan is a roadmap for what to do at every step in your company’s growth.
What’s in a business plan?
There are five elements that your plan needs:
- Business description – This is usually called the executive summary, but it’s a short description of what your business is and what it’s going to do to make money.
- Competitive analysis – Look at who your competitors are, what they’re doing to make money, and how you’re going to take some of their business away.
- Marketing – How are you going to get the word out about your business? This is usually a short summary of the complete marketing plan, which you also need, but that’s another story for another day.
- HR needs – You need to look at who you need working for you. What are their roles? What do they need for skills?
- Financial plan – How much money will you make each year? What will your profit margin be? These numbers are based in facts and analysis, not simply made up.
Isn’t a plan just for investors?
Lots of entrepreneurs think a written plan is exclusively to give to investors or the bank. That’s not true. If you’re looking for investors, you might need a more elaborately detailed plan, but your business plan, even if you’re funding everything yourself, is your roadmap to success at every step of the business.
I’m already in business. Do I need a plan?
Yes, you do. A plan doesn’t always have to start from nothing. It can start where you’re at now and help you figure out how to get to the next levels.
In fact, every business that was started without a plan should have one at some point. It allows the business to grow in a controlled and defined way, rather being guesswork all the time.
Business plans are a powerful tool
Like jotting down directions to where you’re going, you need to have some type of plan to take you to success.
A business plan is your roadmap to success. It will define what success looks like.
The SBA offers an outstanding guide to writing a plan: https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/plan-your-business/write-your-business-plan
Read my article on LinkedIn, “6 Steps to Build a Sucessful Restoration Business.” https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/6-steps-build-successful-restoration-business-keith-lewis/?trackingId=
Learn some great habits right away: https://growmyrestorationbusiness.com/article/3-great-habits-of-restoration-business-owners/