Have you ever found yourself struggling to create a plan for your business? Clients tell me that writing a business plan can be overwhelming. First of all, the writing part of it trips a lot of folks up—it can feel a bit like writing a term paper. Then there is the analysis that’s required—for those that don’t like the numbers it can feel a bit like doing math homework. And finally, there’s the defining the future part of the plan—what will this business be when it grows up?
One way to reorient your thinking on the subject is to realize that a business plan is basically a document that communicates a set of decisions. Deciding is a powerful thing—it focuses your energy and provides clarity. A business plan in essentially asking you to answer five questions:
1. What am I building?
2. Why does this business exist?
3. How will we grow this business over time?
4. What results will we measure?
5. What is the important work to be done this year?
The on-going benefit of the business plan is that the decisions you make in the creation of the plan will guide your day-to-day decisions and provide a path for moving forward.