How to Write a Business Plan (that actually makes sense)
By Marcelina Hardy, Writer for PlantoStart.com, small business entrepreneur for 7 years.
“You can’t go, if you don’t know where you are going.”
You have a business and you want it to be successful. You can’t make it a success if you don’t know how you’ll get to it. Having a detailed vision, goals, and actionable steps in writing business plan will help you achieve the success you want in your business. And what’s more important, is it will make sense to you.
So today, I want you to forget business plan templates that don’t make sense; & use this easy step-by-step guide to write a business plan.
Step 1: Make Business Dreams a Reality with a Vision Statement
The first step in writing a business plan is coming up with a vision. The vision is what you imagine your business to be like in 5, 10, 15, or even 20 years. What does success in business mean to you? What does it feel like? What does it look like? Write a detailed paragraph answering these questions.
Step #2: Baby Steps Turn into Big Steps in Business
Once you have your vision, think about what you’ll have to do to make that happen. Think about what needs to happen each step of the way. Here’s an example:
Step #3: Write Actionable Steps towards Goals
Once you have goals in place that will help you progress towards your vision, think about and write down steps to achieve those goals. A tip to do this much simpler is to separate each goal and list the steps to them.
Step #4: Budget Actionable Steps for Wise Business Financing
Once you have your vision, goals, and steps towards them, consider how possible those steps are financially. For each step, write down how much money you’ll need.
- If you need to take it a step beyond simple, use an easy business planning tool like Bplans.
- If you need to go far beyond simple in the finance department, go for a more robust tool like EZNumbers.
Move or change steps if they don’t fit into your business budget. One of the most challenging parts of writing a business plan is being creative because you have to work with what you have in your business.
Step #5: Create a Timeline for Goals and Steps to Stay Motivated
Pressure is sometimes the best motivator. For each goal and step you have in your business plan, give yourself a deadline date. Doing this will keep you on track and give you an idea of when you should expect to achieve your goals.
Tips for Ensuring a Business Plan Is a Success
- Be realistic. Don’t expect to reach your goals in a month unless it is possible to do it in a month. Always give yourself more time than you need to account for unexpected events.
- Review your business plan daily.
- Write down what you have done, what you have to still do, and when you will do it daily.
With Great Success Comes Great Flexibility
A business plan is the blueprint for your business’ success. Follow it closely, but don’t be afraid to change it as needed. If you don’t meet a goal, it’s time to reconsider it, and change the steps. There’s nothing wrong with changing the plan as long as you keep working on your business with your visions and goals in mind. It’s the only way to achieve and run a successful business.
Start your business plan right now. Think about it, write it down, and work on it. Soon, you’ll achieve your vision and you’ll be proud.