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A Business Plan From A Few Simple Questions

Let’s start with the premise that you need a business plan (believe me you do!).

But who’s got time, right? If you’re a solopreneur you’re probably juggling your (so-called) worklife balance. If you have a team, how do you get everyone to take some time out to sit down together for a few days?

Unfortunately you do need a business plan. Not having one is like being the Captain on a jetliner with no flight plan. Sure you can take off and fly in a straight line, but where are you going? How fast should you fly, and does the amount of fuel you have allow that speed? Is there any weather ahead, and should you fly through it or above it? What happens if storms delay your progress, do you fly an alternative route or land somewhere else?

Your business plan needs to define the vision you are working towards, set the milestones or goals along the way, and work out how to get there with the resources you need. But it needn’t be complicated if you can’t set the time aside – it just needs a clear enough path. One that you can detail later when you have the time.

I have a quick business planning method which starts with you describing the ideal business you want to build. Then you simply ask yourself questions about your description that drills down the key characteristics of that ideal business. Once you’ve done that, for each key characteristic you look at how you can get there.

Take a look at this week’s video to see how this works.



Here are the steps again:-

  1. Start by describing your ideal business that you want to build: “My ideal (restaurant, coaching business, yoga studio, fashion store, whatever) that I want to build will be (description). For example “My ideal restaurant that I want to build will be an upmarket modern Italian restaurant that makes customers feel looked after”.
  2. Break down your description into characteristics, and then for each characteristic ask “what does that mean?” In the above example the characteristics seem to be “upmarket”, “modern Italian”, and “customers feel looked after”. “What does it mean to be upmarket?” might mean that it is priced at medium-high, that it has expensive, comfortable furniture, that it has attentive service, and so on.
  3. For each item that makes up a characteristic, ask “how can I get that?” So for example to get “attentive service” you need to hire the best staff and train them well.
  4. Then for each description of what you need to do, write down what you have to do to get there. For example in order to hire the best staff, you have to find the best through interviews, pay them well, and train them well. This means that you need to find a good recruitment agency, find finance, and set up a training program.

I’m putting together an online one-day business planning workshop for small business owners too busy to take too much time off. Make sure you check my courses page here to see if it has been launched by clicking here.

Or even better, why don’t you go to teikoh.com and register your name and email. I hate spam so I promise never to give away or sell your details. In return I will send you notices of new courses, and every week I will send free tips, tools, and resources to help you create winning strategy, provide inspirational leadership, and grow the business of your dreams.

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