I'm continuing the series on Strategic Planning with creating a business plan. Now, wait, before I lose you, this isn't going to be a super complicated multi-page plan that no one will ever see.
The new business plans are focused and can help you get clear in just a page to what your plan is.
I'll be going deeper into these topics over the next few months. But get your juices flowing and get something on your paper will help you and your business.
Many business plans aren't relevant to designers that are not looking for investors or for bank loans. Many times the plan feels too clunky and overzealous for your little design firm with a home office.
However, planning your business and working through some of these questions is a valuable exercise.
So if you've never done a business plan, even if you've been in business for awhile or think you know the answers, I say give me an hour of CEO-time and let's see if you don't gain some insights.
Grab some paper and start writing. The more specific you can be the better. You want to think about your existing business as well as your future or ideal business. If they are very different maybe you could write down what your current business looks like and do another plan for your future or ideal business and then examine how to bridge that gap. How to get from the current state of affairs to the future?
PARTS OF A SIMPLE BUSINESS PLAN:
Product: What are you selling? Why does anyone want what you are selling? What problem are you solving or what value are you adding? How will you communicate that?
Clients: Who are you selling to? Be specific. How will they find you? Be specific. Why will clients want to buy from you?
Marketing: How will your clients know you exist? How will you sell to them? What will you do to get the word out?
Profit and Revenue: How will you make money? How much money do you need to make to make a profit? How will you charge your clients? How much work do you need to bring in to make a profit?
Success & Challenges: What challenges could you face in your business? How will you deal with them? What metrics (money, # of customers, being published) do you need to consider your business successful?