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Yes, You Do Need A Business Plan
Your Business Plan is the Key to Your Success
You may be intimidated by the idea of writing a business plan, but you don’t have to be. You can get your business up and running with a simple, single page business plan (no executive summary required)!
There are a few key considerations that should be included in every business plan. I have described some of them below. Keep these suggestions in mind when you sit down to create the plan for your business.
What Should Your Business Plan Include?
Brainstorm possible names for your business.
What type of business will you operate? Will you sell services? Will you sell physical or digital products? Will you be an influencer?
What is Your Niche?
Perhaps you’ve decided you want to open an e-commerce shop. What products will you sell?
Perhaps you want to sell sporting goods to busy men who like to get out their stress through athletics. This may seem specific enough for your business, but it’s important to be more specific than that.
If you start off too broad, there is the potential to waste lots of money and time trying to figure out which products will be a hit with your audience.
Your Ideal Client
What sort of person do you imagine will buy from you? Are they male or female? Do they have a spouse? What are their values? What is their age range? What is their income range?
Do your best to be as specific as possible here. It’s important to describe your Ideal Client as if they were a single, living person. This was of thinking about your Ideal Client will help you to visualize the little details that will help you to connect with the right audience.
What Does Your Client Need?
The only way to get people to buy from you is if you’re providing a solution to their problems. Think hard about what problems your proposed product or service could solve for your Ideal Client.
Note: Once you’ve opened your business and you’ve had the chance to interact with your audience, you’ll be able to receive valuable feedback that will help you to provide your customers with exactly what they’re willing to buy from you.
How Will You Meet Your Ideal Client’s Needs with Your Products or Services?
Stating the features of the items or services you plan to sell won’t help you make the sale.
Take the time to describe the benefits of what you have to offer your audience.
When your audience knows exactly how what you’re selling will change their lives for the better, they will be convinced that they have to have it.
You’ll use this language often in your marketing efforts, so it pays to spend time exploring these ideas up front.
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Monetization, Tools, and Marketing
Are you selling ad space on a blog?
Providing articles in exchange for pay?
Will you source wholesale products and sell them in your online store?
Will you earn income as a spokesperson for a brand?
What Tools Will You Use?
Will you use an existing tool or will you need to create your own tool?
How Will You Tell People About Your Business?
Will you market by word of mouth? Will you start a blog?
Will you run ads on social media or join a directory?
What Are the Next Steps?
What action will you take to get the ball rolling?
Tip: Think in terms of the next 3 months or quarter, then break that down into a month by month plan, and finally break it down week by week. Mark deadlines and important dates in your calendar!
How Much Money and Time Will I Need to Invest?
It’s true – you’ve got to spend money to make money. How will you find the money to get the supplies your business needs?
Will you save up? Borrow it? Sell things you already have?
When will you find time to run your business?
During naptime? On the weekends only? Full time hours each week?
What Are Your Goals?
How much money would you like to make? Where would you like to see your business in one year? How about in five years?
A Work in Progress
You can and should build on the suggestions above until you’ve created a strategy that can guide you during the launch phase.
The Foundation for Your Business Building Strategy
Your business plan will give you a strategy for building your business, much like the foundation supports all the other parts that make a house safe and durable. Unlike the foundation of a home, your business plan is not set in stone.
As your business evolves, you may want to re-do the plan. That is perfectly acceptable. But without a good working plan in place at the beginning, you’ll likely set yourself up for frustration, disappointment, and failure.
The Final Step: Take Action!
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