Hi again, Friends!
I've been a busy bee and found some really helpful resources for the very, very small business owner as you build a business plan. If you're like me, you may have hobbied your way into building your small business and now you're working to organize and legitimize it all so you can focus on growing to a more sustainable size (ie. so you can afford your rent).
Your business plan is the foundation for this necessary organization. Here's how it helps:
- It forces you to put a plan to paper. The more seriously your take yourself (your business, really) the more seriously you will devote your time. If you cannot visualize any kind of success, how on earth will you achieve it?
- It teaches you the flow of business. A well-structured business plan is helpful in understanding how the different facets of your business interact with each other. Who is my customer? How do I interact with them? What are my local resources.
- It teaches you important business terms that sound scary but are relatively simple. Value Proposition? That's what you make that brings value to your company; original social media content and your handmade products would fall into this category.
- It acts as your guide in making large business decisions and small daily decisions. You can't be expected to remember everything about your business all the time, but with a Business Plan you have a cheat sheet to help remind you about local partners you want to pursue (long-term goals) and to keep up your daily social media posting (short term goals). It's the road map to keep you on course.
So, when you have a teeny, tiny, baby business, it can seem like a Business Plan is a bunch of work that doesn't really apply to you. But I promise it does. You just need to tweak it to scale. You might not have a projected profit, but you do need to know what channels you are using to reach customers.
Here's my Business Plan:
Here's the simple, one page plan that I used. It's called a Business Model Canvas and it's what lean startups frequently rely upon. It's available as a free download from Strategyzer.com. I then used the DocHub chrome plugin to type right into the chart, but you may try adobe as well.
Link to the Free Download: https://strategyzer.com/canvas/business-model-canvas
Tips: when you put in your email for the free organizer, it will send it right to your inbox. You will be directed to a page where it seems like you HAVE to input more personal details, but you don't. The organizer is already in your email.
ALSO: watch the video. That's how I came to understand the different portions of the organizer. I also googled terms to have a better understanding as I continue to learn business skills.
My business plan will grow and evolve and my business grows and evolves. It's not rigid and should be reviewed frequently. Remember, it's not a painful requirement for you to fulfill, it's an enriching tool to help you grow. I hope this short guide has been helpful to you. Let me know if you have any questions or pointers!
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