How to Craft a Business Plan Guaranteed to Drive Success
Far too often I encounter business owners who treat their business plan like a homework assignment rather than a tool for building a better business. Most of these people write a business plan because they were told to for funding or tax purposes. But this type of generic outline usually fails to capture the true essence of a business, which is where the real money lies.
We believe your business plan should read like a road-map to success. It’s meant to serve your passion and desire to deliver a solution and inspire you to accomplish the goals you have laid out for you and your team.
Whether you are crafting your first business plan, or looking for ways to improve your existing one, here are a few tips for creating a plan guaranteed to drive success:
It must be actionable
A business plan that doesn’t inspire you to act isn’t worth your time. Not only should this plan allow you to create benchmarks that will help you see how your business is faring, it should remind you of the reason you started in the first place. Remember, you’re not in business to create fancy proposals. You’re in business to accomplish something—and it’s that accomplishment that’s supposed to improve your life and help you achieve your goals.
Make it Personal
Do a quick Google search for business plans and you’ll get hundreds of generic outlines to follow. The problem is, when you follow these outlines exactly they tend to become stale pretty quick. Use these outlines as a guide for the type of information that should be included in your plan, but then let your own approach take over. You’re building an exciting and unique business—it’s kind of hard to show that off with a cardboard cutout business plan.
Revisit and Revise as Often as You Please
Your business plan should have finger prints all over it. If you get it out at the end of the year and its accumulated a layer of dust it’s time to re-write it. The most successful entrepreneurs use this document as a guide for measuring success. They take it out and read it every quarter. They use it to develop their goals and find more realistic avenues for growth.
That being said—don’t be scared to rewrite your plan as your business changes. Think of it as returning to your plan with an MBA in “real life.” Once you have the perspective of how your business runs in the real world, you’ll be better equipped to set attainable goals for the future. Don’t be discouraged by this process—it’s an opportunity to take everything you’ve learned and make it an even better, more applicable plan.
Our team is here to help you connect the dots. We’ll not only help you outline an actionable business plan, we’ll create methods for inspiring decisions and measuring success in every aspect of your business. Give us a call to see how we can help: 289-466-5210.