Updated: Apr 10
Why bother with a business plan?
With the nicer weather we have been having I have been looking into making my own garden furniture using wooden crates. Now DIY or making things from scratch is not one of my strengths but I've been thinking it would be a great project to do in the time I'm setting aside for myself and the pictures I've seen of finished products look amazing!
The first thing I did was start a plan and I researched everything that I need to build the furniture and then instructions on how to build it and ideas on how to decorate it and if I needed special wood paint to keep it protected (I am literally starting from scratch here as I've never built a piece of furniture in my life!)
While I was doing this it got me thinking that everything I was doing and the research and planning is exactly the same as I did when I created my business plan for my business. I use my business plan to keep me on track, benchmark where I am at compared to the goals I set myself (this also reminds me to celebrate my wins and gives me the kick I need when I'm slacking off) and it keeps me focused.
Do you have a business plan for your business?
A business plan sets the scene so to speak right from the start, you can use it in your marketing, you can use the financial forecast to make sure you are where you need to be to hit your financial goals, you can use it to make sure you're sticking to your company values when you're working. It is such an amazing working document to have but so many people don't have one or they have one that was written for someone else (to get funding or because they ticked the box creating it but never thought it would be any help to them).
I saw a great paragraph from the US Small Business Administration website* that explains a business plan perfectly, the quote is:
"It will help you steer your business as you start and grow:
Think of a business plan as a GPS to get your business going. A good business plan guides you through each stage of starting and managing your business. You’ll use your business plan like a GPS for how to structure, run, and grow your new business. It’s a way to think through and detail all the key elements of how your business will run."
I have included below 5 tips you might want to include in your business plan.
1. Company Description (I did this last, I completed everything else in my business plan and then came back to this)
How are you going to run your company? (Self-employed/limited company)
What is your wildly important goal? (What is your mission? What is your vision for you and your company? What are your core values?)
What are you offering? (What services/products are you offering? What problem are you solving?)
What makes you different? (What makes you stand out from your competitors?)
2 . Background - Who are you?
What experience do you bring to your business?
Where did the business idea start? Why now?
What is your story that got you to where you are today?
3. Competitive Edge - What is your super power?
What makes you different to your competition?
Why should your customers buy from you and not anyone else?
How does your previous experience make you stand out?
How are you going to add more value than anyone else to your customers?
4. Products and Services
What products/services are you offering?
What overall price will you be charging?
Are you pricing your products to make sure you're covering ALL of your costs and not working for free? (It is really easy to make sure you are covering the cost of making or providing your products and services but then forgetting that you need to be paid too and you have other business bills that need to be covered as well)
Market Research - How do you know there is a market for your product or service - This can then feed into your Ideal Customer profile
5. Business goals and objective - 90 day goals, 6 month and 12 months goals
Marketing goals - This can then feed into your marketing plan
Sales goals - This can feed into your Sales Forecast which can feed into:
Financial Goals - These feed into your financial forecast and cash flow
If you would prefer to create your business plan with a group of like minded individuals going through the same struggles that you are then the AMOUR Business Start Up Boot Camp may be for you.
* Quote used from: https://www.sba.gov/blog/5-reasons-you-need-business-plan