A solid business plan defines your company’s strategy for success, and any business that wants to grow, build, and scale must have one in place. An effective business plan will define how you will approach marketing, sales, make projections, who your competitors are, among other components that impact your success. It is not uncommon to find the thought of a business plan intimidating, but once you understand what it needs and why you need it, the process becomes less complicated.
How Lengthy Should Your Business Plan Be?
Often, business owners and entrepreneurs are under the impression that a business plan must be a long, massive document – this is entirely untrue. Actually, most businesses gain meaningful results from an approximately one-page business plan. So, resist the urge to overcomplicate the process.
Yes, more in-depth, large business plans have a place, but they are generally needed in specific situations – most revolving around loans and investors. For instance, asking for a loan from the bank requires specifics on how you will repay the loan, so your financial plans need to be in order. When you approach investors, they need to know your company plan for scaling up. Knowing that most investors are typically looking for significant growth, your business plan must be bold on investment, marketing, and expansion.
Unless you are searching for funding, a simple one-page business plan is enough to get you moving in the direction of growing, building, and scaling your business.
Components of a Business Plan
To begin creating a business plan, you must address these five components:
Who Are Your Clients?
First, clearly define your ideal client. If you haven’t done this yet, I recommend that you start with my Airtight Avatar. This is a foundational piece I give away for free to help you nail down the first piece of your business plan. The downloadable guide will allow you to uncover exactly who you are targeting in around 30 minutes.
What is Your Product?
The second piece of your business plan is knowing exactly what you are selling. You must be able to clearly define your product or service to move to the next steps.
What Problem Does Your Product or Service Solve?
It is not good enough to have a great product; you must define the problem that your product or service actually solves. In this step, you must be extremely specific – this is the person who will buy it, and this is what they are going to buy it – why they need what you have to offer.
How Will You Deliver the Product or Service?
Next, define how you will deliver your particular product or service. Will you be coaching or consulting? Does your distribution plan include wholesale, retail, Amazon, Dropship, etc.? Whatever you may be using or doing, specify how it will be delivered.
How Will You Make Money?
Finally, write down how you plan to make money and have these numbers in place. Have an idea of your operational costs, overhead such as rent, utilities, people on your payroll, and how often all of these items need to be paid: weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Next, determine approximately how many units you plan to sell. When you have these numbers in place, calculate them in a financial spreadsheet with assumptions on the number of sales or services at a specific price, which will give you a gross profit. Then, deduct your overhead from your gross profit, determining your net profit. This piece will allow you to determine how your business will be making money.
At the Growth Architect, my goal is to help you develop a business plan that will give you the roadmap you need for success. If you want to learn more about creating a business plan, watch my video, and contact me when you are ready to develop your growth strategy!
Beate Chelette is The Growth Architect & Founder of The Women’s Code, a training company specialized in providing companies an ROI on Balanced Leadership. She has been named one of 50 must-follow women entrepreneurs by the Huffington Post. A first-generation immigrant who found herself $135,000 in debt as a single parent, she bootstrapped her passion for photography into a highly successful global business and eventually sold it to Bill Gates in a multimillion-dollar deal.
Beate works with business leaders and supports organizations by developing and providing training the training, tools, and expertise to create and maintain a balanced, equal, and inclusive work environment that fosters creativity, employee engagement, and corporate growth.
Recent clients include Merck, Women’s Legislative Caucus of California, Cal State University Dominguez Hills, Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), NFTE, CreativeLive, the Association of Corporate Growth, and TracyLocke.
Beate is the author of the #1 International Amazon Bestseller “Happy Woman Happy World – How to Go From Overwhelmed to Awesome” a book that corporate trainer and best-selling author Brian Tracy calls “a handbook for every woman who wants health, success and a fulfilling career.
To book Beate to speak or train please connect here. Your Time Is Valuable!