Do you use a business plan?
Here's a little insider secret about solo professionals – less than 1 in 5 have a written business plan. Are you shocked? I've worked with smart solo professionals for more than a decade now, and in that time I've come to understand why most keep their business plan all in their head. Here are three of the top reasons:
- Business plan templates often ask for information not relevant to your business, such as detailed plans for capitalization through “old-business” mechanisms such as bank loans and venture capital.
- Commonly used biz plan templates often do not support newer business models such as Internet-only businesses, those with little or no physical inventory, or direct marketed businesses.
- The templates also often short-change the marketing and customer service aspects of the business, arguably the most vital parts of business activity for micro-businesses.
Here's why a short term business planner is useful for solo professionals like you
Even though commonly used business plan templates or outlines don't serve solo professionals particularly well, you still will do better in your business if you have a written business plan. So if the dirty little secret of your business is that you've done no formal planning let's change that. You need, at least, a short term 6 month focused business planner. Here are just a few reasons why.
- Completing a short term business plan forces you to become clearer and more succinct about what you offer. Improving your brand clarity (your mission and your best customer) usually results in faster sales for your business.
- Using your business planner as a basis for planning your sales conversations will give you better results. You'll sound more confident and clearer when you talk about what you offer.
- A completed plan gives you specific goals to hit at specific times. This allows you to review how you are doing up against what you said you could do 3 months, 6 months, or a year ago.
- Having a completed business plan helps you avoid the “bright shiny object syndrome” that so many of us have. It gives you a quick way to judge whether the opportunity is a distraction or something that will actually help you hit your goals.
There's much more that proper business planning can do for solo professionals. And by proper, I mean planning that is crafted specifically for a small, solo business that operates out of the home (or a small solo office). I like the idea of a shorter-term 6 month planner because it seems less daunting – and you can add it right into a longer-term business plan, too.
Here's my 6 month focused business planner for you
I've developed a 5 page 6 month planner that you can download by leaving your name and email here. I'd love to hear how it's helped you plan for your next 6 months.
Related Article: 7 Signs Your Brand is Fuzzy and Forgettable
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