I’m all about planning and especially about making sure your small business has every chance of success by mapping out your own tailored Business Plan.
I’ve opened the cart this week on my online business planning guided workshop called “Your One Day Business Plan”.
While I have written extensively about business planning, how it can help a small business grow, how indeed the lack of one could sink a business, people still ask me questions about business planning, and they ask me questions about how “Your One Day Business Plan” can help them.
So, I thought I would take this post to answer the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) that I am always being asked.
So, let’s go!
What is a business plan?
A business plan is simply a set of actions that a business needs to take in order to achieve its defined goals.
A business plan can be used most commonly to set a direction and steps to take to get there or to provide banks and other funders to prove the feasibility and stability of the business as an investment.
A business plan can be a 500-page document, or it can be a one-page list of priorities and actions, depending on what you need it to do.
Here’s a short video on what is a business plan and why you need one:
What is an implementable business plan?
An implementable business plan is one that suits the time, ability, and resources of the person who is going to implement it.
Larger business will implement their business plans by sharing it with their management team, and then establish each manager’s roles and responsibilities. This means that in their case, a business plan must speak to and persuade many about what to do. That is why the traditional consultant-prepared business plan is “technical” because it follows a pattern unsuitable for the busy small business owner.
Why do I need a business plan?
Are you working hard every day but not getting any closer to your goals? Did you start your business with an “idea” of what you wanted to achieve and then spent the last few months or years following one initiative after another and being unsure whether any of this was actually getting you closer to achieving that “idea”?
This is why you need a business plan – to define that idea and what it means to you, and then to prioritise the big-picture things you need to do to get you there, to set some achievable goals and set them up as milestones, and to find a clear direction out of the day to day chaos.
What will a business plan give me?
There is definitely a payoff for you and your business if you have a practical and implementable business plan.
You will find a sense of order in what you do because with a defined set of goals and priorities you can choose what you spend your time on – even incorporating time for emergencies – so that you always know what you need to do.
You will be able to reduce the stress of working hard, because your effort will be rewarded by taking you a step toward your goals.
You will find peace of mind knowing that you are working on your business and not in it like a hamster on a wheel.
What if I’m too busy?
Let’s be honest – you do have to put the hard work into your business plan. It will not write itself, so that means you do have to allocate time.
But the key is what is the right amount of time?
If you already have a pretty clear idea of where you want to go, what your current issues are, and how to fix them and go to where you want to go, then it won’t take very long at all.
If you have absolutely no idea and have not thought about it at all, it may take longer!
“Your One Day Business Plan” is a paced online guided workshop to help you write your own Business Plan in just one day!
But really, how can you be “too busy” to spend some time now so that you don’t spend more and more time going up blind alleys into the future?
How long will it take?
Again, it is the “right” amount of time that you need to develop the plan that you want.
Ideally, you may have to spend some time over the course of a few weeks so that you can think about and develop strategies in some detail.
However, with the right guidance, it is possible to write a properly thought out, pragmatic and implementable business plan in one intensive day. It may not be “perfect” but you can dive into and develop more and more detail from this – remember, perfection is the enemy of progress.
In “Your One Day Business Plan” I have timed each recorded lesson and workshop exercise, prompted by my exclusive audio workshop paced download so that you can complete your Business Plan in just one day. It will be an intense day, but the focus and concentration will help you get down to what matters!
In it, I provide video lessons, downloadable worksheets that in the end become your Business Plan document, and a guided audio download to use as a timed workshop. The whole workshop can take place in just one day, or if you want to work at your own pace, you can download and work on each section for a few hours every day.
Do I have the skills to do it?
Do you know your business in and out? Do you know what makes it tick and what concerns you about it? Do you know what it is you are trying to achieve and what that would mean to you? Do you know your customers and your market? Do you know your suppliers? Do you know your industry and your competitors?
If you know all of this about your own business, then you certainly have the information. If you can follow a proven step by step formula under expert guidance, then you have the skills to put it together. “Your One Day Business Plan” synthesises all the theory and Business School techniques into a formula that you can apply, accompanied by my audio recording of a workshop to guide you through.
Why can’t I buy a template or follow a book?
Without a very clear and logical process to follow in a guided step-by-step procedure, most busy small business owners get totally lost.
Even following a book or template is not so easy because following some instructions is not the same as being guided through the work.
If this happens, they become confused – their strategies don’t connect as a single set of cohesive actions, they try to pack too much, too unrealistically, into too short an action timeframe.
As a small business owner with customers to serve, finances to look after, and people to supervise, you literally cannot afford to waste time walking into dead ends. Everything you do must be productive – and the frustration and anxiety of doing something or paying for something that gives you no benefit or advantage will overwhelm you.
Writing your effective business plan that is immediately capable of being implemented is something you need to get right, by doing it in a guided way.
Will there be any obstacles?
There will be some obstacles arising when you start, but they are not insurmountable.
Let’s go through them in some detail.
First, you do need to devote some time to the process and not just hope to “fill in the blanks” while you sit in front of the television.
So, the first obstacle is that you need to find some time in your busy life. The way to do this is to deal with it up-front before you even start.
Make the decision now that it is important to find order from this chaos and that you will put in the effort and the discipline to do something very important for your business and your lifestyle. Walk away from here and immediately set at least a day aside as the first block of time to work on the business plan – put it in your diary or calendar now!
Second, once you start the process, day to day problems will arise.
Of course, you need to deal with them, but you need to organise yourself to deal with them yet stick to your schedule. Do not move the time set in your calendar.
You know your business better than anyone else, so you know what type of “emergencies” are likely to occur. When you go away and set the time to work on the business plan, build in time for anticipated emergencies.
Third, in the middle of the process, you will probably find that you don’t have enough information.
If this happens, don’t get frustrated, don’t be tempted to stop. Remember “perfection is the enemy of progress.”
It is better to complete a first-draft business plan even if you must follow up later to dig up more information.
If you do have to follow up, then schedule time there and then.
Ultimately some of the information you think you need may simply not be available because it doesn’t exist or it’s too costly to obtain. Live with it: use your own experience of your industry to come up with “best guess” information or use “best known at the time” information. Your business plan will be a living document that you will pull out from time to time to measure, review and change. As more and better information becomes available, you can change it accordingly.
Finally, during the process, you may identify resources you need to carry out your strategies and you may not have them or cannot afford them.
The obstacle, of course, is how you carry out your plans without having the resources. That’s part of planning – build in strategies to get the resources over the time of the business plan, and yes, sometimes, you can’t get what you want right now, but you may be able to in a year from now.
Build that timing into your plan.
There are likely to be obstacles when you prepare your business plan, but they are not insurmountable. You can organise yourself to get over them.
Why don’t I just hire a consultant?
Getting a consultant to prepare your business plan for you is part of the old world of small business.
It is one of the old myths that we need to bust, the myth that a trained consultant can do it better than you.
You need to be as cost-effective as possible and prioritise what you have to do to get to your goals in the most efficient way.
To do that, you need to know your business. A consultant will spend more time than you would need getting to know about your business. Then the consultant will apply a process to that knowledge.
What if you had that process? What if you were guided on how to apply that process?
Combine a proven formula and your own intimate knowledge of your business and you can beat that consultant every time.
Can I really do it?
Yes, because you can weight the scales in your favour by getting prepared.
Chunk your time – schedule separate blocks of time to deal with looking at where you want to go, where you are now, and how do you bridge the gap. In that way, you focus on one small part at a time without getting overwhelmed.
Schedule time away from work, perhaps at home or in a hotel. If appropriate, include family members like your spouse who will be part of your journey.
You can also follow the process in “Your One Day Business Plan” and complete your plan in one day.
Ultimately, yes you can do it because you are intelligent, you know your business and like a true entrepreneur, you have a hunger to do it well and do it right.
Moreover, you will be following a proven process that hundreds have already used successfully, not some theoretical Business School exercise.
You have a step by step process to follow, that hundreds of others already have.
Your One Day Business Plan is now open but will close soon.
Go to members.teikoh.com/the-one-day-business-plan to learn more about what “Your One Day Business Plan” gives you. I also give you my 30 Day Money-back Guarantee to remove any risk for you. I am so confident that you are going to love The One Day Business Plan Program that I am giving you 30 days, risk-free! That’s right, you can use my training and workshop program for 30 days from purchase and if you do the work but it doesn’t give you an effective, actionable business plan, simply email me with your completed worksheets to show that you have done the work and I will send you a refund.
The cart will close on the 20th of this month, so act now!