Today we are talking all about how to build a business plan! When I first started my biz, it was really hard for me to build a business plan because I had no idea what I wanted my biz to look like. Honestly, having so many options was more overwhelming to me than only having a few options.
As a Type A person, it was frustrating for me at the beginning of my biz because I didn’t know the exact steps I wanted to take. But as I grew, I found that having a business plan helped me feel more secure and pushed my biz forward. So let’s dive into the 7 steps you can take to build a business plan!
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What Is A Business Plan?
A business plan is basically like a summary of your business. It includes things like research on your market and competitors, your business and management structure, and the products or services you offer.
It also includes a financial plan which includes how you’ll market your business, budgeting, and financial projections.
Step 1: Research Your Industry
Whether you have had your biz for years or are in the beginnings of your biz, research is so important. You want to research hard and soft skills needed for your market and stay on top of new trends, tools, and client demands.
You can research your industry by reading articles, listening to podcasts, and even finding people on Instagram in your field to connect with.
Researching other experts in your field helps you think about what unique offer you can bring to the table by seeing how other people market themselves.
HOT TIP: Set a recurring task in your project management tool to research your industry every month!
Step 2: Define Your Purpose
Your business plan will serve to guide your strategies and build your financial background and future, but it can also have a unique purpose.
What is your goal for building a business plan? Maybe you want to attract investors, or you’ll offer portions of the plan to clients to better understand your business.
You can find your unique purpose by digging more into the “why” of starting your biz. And remember that this will always be changing because as your personal life evolves, you want your business to evolve alongside to support you!
Step 3: Build A Company Profile
It’s helpful to think of this kind of like the “About Us” page on your website! A company profile is a short description of your company, its history, the products or services you offer, and the people behind the brand.
Some questions to get your profile started are:
- What are you selling?
- Who is your target audience?
- How are you solving a problem or “need” within your market?
- Who makes up your team and what is the team’s mindset?
- Who is your competition?
Step 4: Explain The Financials Of Your Biz
The financial portion of your business plan will be customized to your numbers and anticipated growth.
First, start by detailing your expenses, then incorporate your cash flow. For example, you can start planning your anticipated client capacity and how much you’re going to be charging. This helps you to have an anticipated projection of your monthly + yearly revenue.
HOT TIP: This is a great opportunity to take note of areas where you could possibly reduce spending or where you need to reallocate funds to support your growth plan!
Step 5: Include Your Marketing Plan
You need to include a marketing plan in your business plan so you can continue to grow as you build your biz. You also need to know how to market your offers so you can support yourself with your biz!
Some things to include in this section are:
- New product or services ideas
- Expansion ideas for current products
- Upselling or bundling services
- Plans to create long-term contracts with clients
- Price increases (as needed)
- Plans to refine your products or services
- Online content strategy (Blog, social media, podcast, videos, etc.)
- How you’ll boost product sales (Where will the business come from? How will you grow your audience?)
Step 6: Make The Plan Adaptable
Just like everything in business, your plan will change! Make a plan to revisit your plan at least every quarter to make sure you’re still on the right track or to make any necessary changes.
Don’t forget to share any changes with your team so they can help you stay on track and also see opportunities for pivots and changes.
It’s also super important to make sure that your business always feels aligned. There are so many ups and downs to running your biz and you need to make sure that you’re always circling back to your why!
Step 7: Highlight What Makes You Unique
End your business plan with why you put such passion behind your brand, lessons you’ve learned through business growth, your core values, and the problems you hope to help others solve.
Some questions to think about are:
- Why will your business be the one to solve the problem or needs of your market?
- What do you offer that sets you apart from your competition?
- What is your big “why”? And how is it separating you from everyone else?
By explaining why you’re so determined to turn your passion into a thriving business, you’ll attract clients and team members who share your passion with you!
Having a business plan is super helpful to guide you in all stages of your business. Although a business plan can sound like a definitive project, it is something that needs to be evaluated frequently to ensure it supports your goals! You don’t have to have all of the answers and steps right now, just start somewhere!
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