Today’s article is about, you guessed it, do I really need a business plan and why do I need one? Many people who start a business never take the time to write out a business plan. And that is a big mistake in my opinion.
A business plan can greatly increase your chances of success. And I’m assuming that you want your business to be a success, am I right?
The following are some reasons why every business needs to put a business plan into writing.
It helps to map out your future
If you have decided you are ready to start a business, your first step should be to write out your plans for what you want to do with the business and where you see the business going in the future. You have probably heard the old saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” That is very true when it comes to your business. The more planning you do in the beginning, the greater success you will see in the future.
To secure financing
If you decide to take your home business to the next level, a business plan can help you secure financing. A financial institution will want to see, in writing, the reasons that they should loan you money. Simply walking in and telling them why you know you’ll be a success isn’t good enough. However, if you can hand your lender a document that states your business idea, your business goals, a list of steps you plan to take in order to reach your goals, as well as your estimated earnings, you will be seen as a professional and the lender will take you more seriously.
Determines your Action Plan
Your plan will also help you determine your action plan. Your action plan consists of the steps you plan on taking in order to achieve your goals. This is another task that people usually sidestep. Instead of “just kind of knowing” or “having the ideas in your head”, you should take the time to put them on paper. The reason this part of the business plan is so important is that it literally walks you from point A to point B. While your business plan, in general, serves as a map, your action plan is the “turn-by-turn directions.”
Having a business plan to present to your spouse or partner can also help them to realize your business idea is more than just a passing amusement. This can really help you, especially if they are skeptical. They can see that you are serious and will become more helpful and more encouraging. Having the support of your spouse or partner can really motivate you and help you find success. And that’s what you want your business to be, successful!
Need help with planning this out? I would be happy to help you. Book a call with me here – Free Appointment
Creating a one-page business plan is the topic of this article. Many small business owners get overwhelmed when it comes to the necessity of writing their business plans. It doesn’t have to be hard you just need to do it.
Unless you are looking for major financial funding from a bank or other loan institutions, a simple business plan that includes answers to the following questions will be perfect for your small business purposes.
The Simple Business Plan
1. Where am I now with my business?
2. Where do I want to be with my business? If you see your deadlines in front of you as you work your business, you’ll be more likely to meet them. Break this answer down into a timeline to make it easier, using 6 months, 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, or whatever times work for your particular business.
If you are looking for a way to get a bit more detailed with your plan or you foresee needing it to request funding later, you may want to devote more time and attention. You can still easily do this by devoting no more than one page to each section of your business plan.
Creating A Detailed Business Plan
Page 1 – Overview
Include your vision for your company (possibilities), the purpose of creating your company (why you started your business), and the mission of your company (plans for achieving).
Page 2 – Business Information
Here is where you would include information about yourself including name, business name, and entity, address, and phone number.
You’ll also want to summarize your business objectives on this page. List your goals and how you plan to reach them. Including what you’ll do to create a profit and what tools and resources you plan to use to do so.
Page 3 – Market & Customers
Answer the following questions in this section of your plan.
Your target market – Who are they? Where are they? How many?
Give specifics about growth and spending habits. Do as much research on your market as you can and put it in this section, including any barriers or hard to overcome issues.
Page 4 – Competition
Who are your competitors? What makes you different and the same as those competitors? How are you competing with them? With price, quality, etc? How will your market feel about you compared to your competitors?
Page 5 – Marketing
This is a bit like your competition section because you’ll want to discuss how you will market your business products or services. What makes your business unique?
No matter which method you use to create your business plan, be sure you are answering each of the questions to make it efficient for its purpose. Whether it’s for you or someone else, the ultimate goal of a business plan is to keep you on track and focused, and working toward growth.
As your business grows don’t forget to update your plan to grow with it as well.
Many people have issues with goal setting due to setting limiting obstacles in their own way. Some of the most common barriers to goals setting involve fear and lack of belief in yourself enough to even set a goal, much less follow steps toward achieving them. Perhaps if you know some of the most common goal-setting obstacles you can work toward overcoming them.
Obstacles That Limit The Process
You Don’t Want What You Think You Want
Some goals are set because other people want them for you. If you don’t really want what you say you want, it will be very difficult to set a goal for that thing. Be sure that you’ve set the goals for the right reasons and that it’s something you really want. Write down the pros and cons of any goal and know why you want to achieve that result before setting it in stone.
You Don’t Truly Understand the Importance of Goal Setting
Many people think goal setting is just hocus pocus and doesn’t really work. If you don’t really understand the power behind appropriate goal setting, it can be hard to take the time out of your day to truly set a goal. To understand the importance of goal setting, read several books about success and you’ll find that the most successful people set realistic goals, and then worked that goal into their schedule every single day. Even people who experience “overnight success” didn’t really achieve everything overnight. It was many nights of following a plan that brought results.
You’re Not Really Sure How to Set a Reasonable Goal
If you’ve actually tried to set a goal before but didn’t experience results, it’s probably because you just don’t know how to set a goal. It’s not as easy as just writing down a dream. Goals aren’t dreams. They are realistic, specific, achievable end results that you want to see. Take the time to learn the best goal-setting techniques in order to experience goal-setting success.
Fears That Control You
You’re Scared of Failure
Many people do not bother setting goals because they have a self-limiting belief that they’ll fail anyway. Therefore, if they do not set a goal, they won’t have to be a failure. But remember that the idea of planning to succeed over planning to fail is realistic. No goal setting is a recipe for failure; goal setting is a recipe for success. When you accept that you can only achieve real success through goal setting, you’ll overcome this obstacle.
You’re Afraid of Judgment
Sometimes people are scared to set a goal for something because they see it as outrageous. For instance, let’s say that you want to go back to college to get a Master’s degree, or you want to start your own business. You fear that if you set that goal, and other people know about the goal they’ll judge you harshly for wanting it or for some other imagined issue. If you are worried about what others think of you, it’s time to dig deep inside yourself and get over it. The truth is, what you think of yourself is more important than anything else. When you stop judging yourself, you’ll stop worrying about the judgment of others.
You’re Afraid of Success
Believe it or not, some people are literally afraid of success. They feel too much pressure surrounding success to actually make goals to be successful. They are more comfortable in their role as someone who is not successful or who is “normal” instead of as someone who sets a goal, works toward achieving it and is seen as a success. The truth is, there will always be people who want to tear you down once you achieve some success, but the saddest thing in life is regretting not doing something. Most people regret the things they did not do, more than the things they did do – right or wrong.
Limits And Internal Battles
You Secretly Don’t Think You’re Worth It
This is where the way you see yourself is important because if you see yourself as someone who doesn’t follow through, who doesn’t succeed, and who can’t change their life, you’ll avoid goal setting like the plague. You’re the only person on Earth who can control your actions, so you’re the only one who can set the goals for you and the only one who can make yourself feel worthwhile.
You Don’t Really Believe It’s Possible
People avoid goal setting because they simply do not see the vision of what can be. They don’t believe. They don’t picture themselves fully at the point of success, experiencing success. Since they think it can’t happen, they don’t try. But, the truth is, you can’t know for sure about anything unless you follow the steps necessary to reach a goal. You can dream big, and reach for the stars. Trying is more important in most circles than actually making it. And, chances are that if you really try, you will make it after all.
Goal setting is imperative if you want to truly see all your dreams and visions come to fruition. It doesn’t matter if it’s business-oriented or personal – setting a realistic and achievable goal, and then working toward realizing that goal on a daily basis does work.
You just have to do the work. If you’re resisting this process I completely understand because it’s easy to do. If you need help with creating your goals, book a FREE call with me. It’s easy, just use this link FREE CALL!
We are continuing our topic about goals in today’s article. One thing I can’t stress enough is how important it is to have business goals. So, we’re going to discuss how to set and achieve business goals so your business will be as successful as you want it to be.
It’s important to have real, specific goals in your business. These goals can be financial, personal, or simply involve an aspect of your business (“build an effective website” for example). It can sometimes seem overwhelming to determine goals, and even more overwhelming to think of achieving them.
Here are some great tips on doing both of these.
1. Set Your Goals With Intention
How do you set business goals, anyway? As you sit down to determine your goals, here are some things to keep in mind that may help.
* Money – How much money do you need? Have a number here – $1500 a month? $100 a week? $50,000 a year? Financial goals are very different for everyone. Just make sure you have a real number. You might want to set two financial goals – long-term and short-term.
* Strategy – As you develop a strategy to reach your goals, you will have goals within that strategy. For example, if your goal is to start your own small business making hand-sewn handbags, then your strategy may be to make ten handbags to have available before beginning and to sell all ten in your first month.
Within this strategy, there are steps – you will need to schedule in the time it takes to make the handbags, and determine the amount of money needed to buy the materials. Then you may also need to set up a website and post ads to get the word out.
Even within these steps are more steps – setting up a website involves multiple steps, as does advertising. Break everything down into small, specific steps and look at it on paper.
* Time – Be honest about how much time you have. So many times it’s tempting to set goals we can’t reach because we just don’t have a grasp on how much (or how little) time we have. Also, hours on paper seldom work out exactly right in real life – you need some breaks (no one is a machine), and life happens.
For example, if your kids are in school from 8 am to 3 pm, you may think you have seven hours to work that day. But if you’re honest, it may be more like five by the time you factor in lunch, bathroom trips, driving to and from the school if you drive your kids, and so forth.
2. Achieving Your Goals
If you have been honest in the above exercises, achieving your goals will be much easier and likely. Still, you can be as detailed and careful as you want on strategy lists and such, and still have trouble reaching your goals. Below is a good example of How to Set and Achieve Business Goals.
Keep the following in mind:
* Keep track – Keeping a record of your business ventures, expenditures, income, and overall progress toward your goals can help you get a handle on how well you’re doing. This can also help you see areas in which you need to improve and areas where you excel.
* Accountability – Some sources suggest an accountability partner, goal buddy, or whatever you want to call someone who holds you accountable for reaching your goals like a mentor.
* Marketing – It is important to have a marketing plan. How will you get your name out? How will you tell people you are open for business? This is an important component of any business goal.
3. Tracking Your Success
Once you have laid your plan out, have a tracking method to look back on at the 3-month, 6-month, 1-year, 5-year progress. Then you will see how much growth you’ve attained in such a short amount of time. If you remember the saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day” you will realize that a business doesn’t grow overnight. It takes time and the right goals for your business to succeed.
If you are looking for help creating your goals or looking for a mentor, that is where I can help you. Book a FREE Consultation Call with me today and let’s get started!
Why it’s important to set goals for your business is today’s topic of discussion. Why do you think they are important? Bet you can’t guess what mine are!
The Importance of Setting Good Goals
Goals are very important when it comes to the success or failure of your business. Why are they so important? Goals act as a roadmap for you to follow. They let you know where you are going, and if you are getting there on time. You wouldn’t get in your car and start driving without having a destination planned out. So why would you approach your business that way?
I know I always get out my phone and pull up Google Maps and put in my destination before I even drive out of my driveway. Do the same for your business, you need a real destination before you get lost.
Targeting your Goals
All goals should have a few things in common. A goal should define what you are trying to accomplish and when you want to accomplish it. Goals should be realistic and there should be a way to measure them. All goals should be written down and available for viewing on a regular basis.
Simply writing the goal down will significantly increase your odds of achieving it and having it displayed as a visual reminder will also help motivate you.
Even if you have never taken the time to set goals for your business, you are actually very familiar with the process. At some point in your life, you have more than likely taken out a pen and paper and mapped out a plan for accomplishing some type of task.
Writing out goals for your business is no different than writing out your grocery list.
Mapping out the Process
By clearly defining your goal, you are telling yourself where you are going. Instead of having a goal of “I plan to spend more time promoting my Virtual Assistant business”, clearly define the goal as “during the next three weeks, my goal is to spend 10 hours per week promoting my Virtual Assistant business”.
The second goal tells you what you are going to do and for how long you are going to do it. This is mapping out the process. Creating a roadmap for you to follow.
Once you know where you are going and when you want to be there, you can figure out how you are going to get there. Using the example above, you know that for the next three weeks, you need to be spending 10 hours per week promoting your business.
Now you can start defining mini-goals. Do things such as writing articles and submitting them to reprint directories. Try emailing past clients and letting them know you are accepting new projects. Send press releases to the media, and so forth. You get the idea now right?
Your Intent of Creating Goals
Goals can also serve as a great way to challenge yourself. Are there some things you have been meaning to do, but keep putting off? Start setting weekly challenge goals. Do things such as blogging one post each day for a week straight.
Or adding a new message each day to your autoresponder or even writing an article each day and submitting it to a reprint directory.
Rewards for your Goals
Have fun with your goals and reward yourself with a gold star when you accomplish one of them. Once you have collected 10 gold stars, treat yourself to a spa day or some other indulgence.
By setting and achieving goals you will find your business taking off and will feel a great sense of enthusiasm and accomplishment.
One of my goals is to help other women in business reach their goals.
I offer one on one mentoring services, so if you’re looking for help with your goals reach out to me. Use this link to check out what I offer and let’s set up a meeting to discuss. Meet with me here.