Many of you are asking “Why do I need a Business Plan?” For years I had been operating without one, just drifting from one project to another. These days I review my business plan every year for the following reasons:
- It gives me a chance to decide where I want to go with my business.
- A business plan forces me to review all aspects of your business; sales goals, marketing, operations, financial plan
- A plan sets up targets in all major areas of my business: sales, expense items, staff
- My business plan becomes a baseline for monitoring progress and holds me accountable.
There are all sorts of reasons to write a business plan, among them:
- If you are starting a new business
- Looking for financing for an established business.
- A new financial period is about to begin (which is why I do it yearly)
- A significant change in the market
- You are developing a new product
- Your business has crossed a threshold
- Your old plan doesn’t reflect reality anymore
Getting started is easy… just think about where you want to be (with your business), a year from now… 5 years from now, even 10 years from now. You could ask yourself these questions; What level of income would provide you with the lifestyle you envision for yourself? Do you want to work from home, or do you want to work out of a large facility and employ 100 employees? Do you see yourself building a business that you intend to sell and then retire?
A few years ago I ran across this Simple 5 Step Business Plan:
1.Write down 3 aspects of your business that have an impact on sales, usually – Average income per sale per month, average number of sales you complete per month, and how many contacts are in your file right now that helped you reach these numbers?
2. Document your numbers in each of the above categories, then based on your business goals for the coming year, project the numbers you are going to need in these categories to reach your goals for the coming year.
3. Ask yourself how you are going to increase your average income per sale per month:
- Add a new product
- Offer an add-on product
- For Realtors – focus on a higher price point, or investors
- Provide the Best Product, and Service in order to generate Referrals
- Provide a different product or service than all of your competitors.
4. Write down your ideas and commitment that will result in an increased frequency of sales per month:
- Increase the amount of time dedicated to marketing
- Increase the number of target market prospects in contact file
- Establish your expertise in a specific field; write a book or guide, start a blog5
- Increase networking activities, both online and in person
- Increase the number of times you contact prospects or clients
5. Set up a spread sheet to shows last years numbers in each of the 3 categories (as a starting point) and projects incremental increases in each category for you to meet your projected goals for the year.
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