It’s National Business Plan Writing Month – Have You Written Your Plan?Posted by Jessica Oman
If you still don’t have your business plan written, that’s okay – we have a new product to get you started (pssst: sign up to our newsletter to get a great deal on it starting December 12).
December is National Write A Business Plan Month (in the USA…but we can borrow this one). This is your time to wrap up (haha…punny!) your business projects, and hopefully take some time to relax as the year winds down. If you haven’t written your business plan, there’s no need to stress – but there is a step you can take today towards getting it completed in January.
Why you need to work on your business plan now
If you’re anything like me, you have big plans for your business in 2013. Maybe you have a new revenue target. Or you want to open an office in another city. Maybe you’re hiring new staff, or buying a piece of equipment you’ve always needed. All of these goals require planning, and some of them require financing.
This means that most of them require a business plan.
Following a plan keeps you focused on your goals; it makes you feel like you’re getting somewhere (and that’s because you are). A great business plan outlines the crucial items you must have in place for your business to succeed, and describes what’s required to achieve that success. It also defines what “success” means for you and your business.
So without a plan…how do you know you’re on your way to where you want to go?
How to start writing your business plan
Business plan writing can seem overwhelming, and that’s why many people never start writing it in the first place. There’s no one way to begin, but here are three ideas:
1. Visualize your perfect customer.
Her buying habits, her hair colour, her job, her home town – write down every detail you can think of about your perfect buyer. Then look up some statistics to find out how many people just like her are out there. With this information, you can form a plan to help you find your target market and promote to them effectively.
2. Decide how much money you want to make.
Dreaming about money is fun. Admit it. Why not set a revenue target for your business? With a real number in mind, it’s easier to write a business plan that shows how you’ll grow your business to that level.
3. Test your product.
Let’s say you make hot sauce in your kitchen. You mom and your beer buddies love it and are always saying “Larry, you really ought to get out there and sell that hot sauce. Everyone will buy it!” …Well. First of all, not everyone will buy it (see exercise #1); but the only way to know just who will buy it is to test it. Make some inventory and go sell it at a farmer’s market or Christmas fair. Taste test it on the street. Do whatever works for you, and keep detailed records of everyone’s feedback. This will give you some idea of your product’s market potential, and it’ll help you figure out exactly who you want to sell to.
Ready to start your business plan? You can pre-order How to Write a Business Plan to Secure Financing and Launch Your Entrepreneurial Journey right now (at a great price, natch) – you just have to sign up for our newsletter to find out how.