Writing a business plan?

Paper stack I was speaking the other day with a former client who reminded me of yet another reason for the importance of writing a business plan –

 – especially when you don’t think you need one.

I find that many individuals who are opening home based or “simple” businesses (whatever that means) don’t feel the need to write a business plan. This particular client has been in business for almost two years when he came to me because – surprise, surprise – things weren’t going too well.

Of course, the first thing I asked for was a copy of his business plan and of course, he didn’t have one.  He had financed the venture himself and didn’t see any upcoming need for outside capital, hence – no plan.

If you fall into a similar mindset regarding the need for a business plan, let me assure you that a business plan is not just needed for capital.  A business plan is your roadmap to success.  It is where you clearly define your goals, your objectives and your strategy for the coming year or years.  It is where you make your assumptions about what is to come and how you will go about “beating the odds.” 

This particular client recently decided that he now wants to apply for a micro loan for his business and, guess what?  He needs a business plan!  He thanked me profusely for my diligence in working on this with him because now, all he has to do is tweak it (better than having to start from scratch and delay the loan application process).

If you have a business plan to write and aren’t sure where to start.  Visit your local Small Business Administration (SBA).  They generally have a ton of free or low cost programs to support business owners.  If you don’t have a local office, click here for some online support. 

If you’re interested in some software, for about $100 I’m fond of Business Plan Pro.  It does a great job of educating you and walking you through the process step by step.  You fill in the blanks, the program creates the document!

You were born to be great.

YES, you can!

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