Business plans – easier than you think, critical to prolonged success—and on one page!
Failing to plan is planning to fail. This simple and straightforward adage really says it all. Why don’t business owners plan? Smart people, ambitious people, people who are excited and passionate about creating their own mini-empires – don’t create plans! Why not? Well, beyond the basic “don’t know how” and “why do I need it?” reasons, here are other common scenarios:
1. Avoiding pain? For some people, the idea of writing a business plan makes them long for something less painful—such as a root canal! Most small business owners keep their plans in their own heads instead. But working through a planning process, such as the One Page Business Plan®, doesn’t have to be painful. It can even be fun! Putting your plan on paper is the first step towards making a dream “real.”
2. Write it down. If your want your business to grow beyond your capability to keep track of every little detail, you’ll have to provide written plans for someone else to follow. Take a vacation? Retire or sell your business? Can’t happen if everything needed to run your business resides only in your mind.
3. Overwhelm. It’s a buzz word right now, but it speaks to a large group of people who suffer from not enough time, not enough money, too many commitments, too much stress. They have no balance between their personal life and work life; it all blends together. Almost invariably, these folks don’t have a formal plan, or if they do, they created it once and never looked at it again. A business plan is a blueprint for the success of your business. Creating and using your business plan will also help you distinguish between pipe-dreams (in your head) and the goals that can make your business a reality.
4. Goals. Also known as “objectives” in business planning, goals are what keep you going on a day you just don’t want to go into the office. They are realistic and achievable and will compel you to try new things or continue doing what’s working. Eventually, you’ll be able to use your business plan to make decisions and set priorities just by looking at your plan every day. Plan NOT to fail. Create your business and marketing plan this month and if you already have one that’s fallen into disrepair, use the one-page format to fix it! Let this useful, living, breathing, document put you on the road to success.
(c) 2008 Maria Marsala, founder of Elevating Your Business, and a licensed One Page Business Plan® consultant draws on her Wall Street trading experience and 30-plus years of business success to help business owners nationwide. Her specialty is helping business owners build bigger, better businesses by streamlining the parts of business they choose to ignore—planning, administration, operations. Maria’s written more than 200 business and Internet articles and has appeared on TV & radio shows on both coasts. Her most recent venture is the CD series “Corporate Secrets Marketing System”, a self-coaching system in a box. Visit us at http://www.ElevatingYourBusiness.com and http://www.BusinessAndMarketingPlan.com