Monday, May 25, 2015

Small Business Plans: Business Planning 101

When you first start out to develop a small business plan you need to ask yourself a critical question. That question is, "Why am I doing this?" There are typically two reasons why entrepreneurs and business owners develop a small business plan and those reasons are: 1) for funding and, 2) for operational success. With regards to operational success, your plan can guide you operationally to figure out what you should be doing on a day to day, week to week, month by month, and year to year basis. In some cases the plan's goal is to do both, to allow your company to gain funding and for operational success.

Now with regards to funding, the key for your plan is to get the reader to want to meet with you. Here's where a lot of entrepreneurs make a mistake. They think that their plan has to detail every single aspect of their business and in doing so, if you detail every aspect of your plan, there's two things that your plan is going to be. One, it's going to be long and no one's going to want to read it and, two, it's going to be boring because if you explain every little detail it will just be really, really bland and not exciting. So when your plan's primary objective is for funding, the goal is to get the reader excited to take a meeting with you. It's in that meeting when you can go through all the details that the investor or lender would like to understand.
From an operational perspective, the key is to think through the full business opportunity. So when you prepare the business plan for operational purposes the key is to really, really think through every aspect of your business starting with what customers are you going to be servicing. What type of staff do you need? What operational processes will you be achieving or need to achieve on a day to day basis? What are your operational milestones? What is your company going to look like in five years?
With regards to the last question, look at your company where it is now, and then envision where you expect to be five years from now. And then work backwards. For example, if you think that in five years you'll have 100 employees, start thinking about what those employees will be doing. And what type of infrastructure you need to build now in order to grow that company that becomes that larger, more successful company five years in the future.
If you've been struggling to write your business plan, download this business plan template and finish your business plan in 1 day! For more tips on getting funded, watch this free presentation:
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