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During a conversation with a small business owner, they made the statement of “you do not need to write a business plan – that’s old school. You just need the financials to show investors.” Well, this thinking just does not make sense and you still need to plan something out and “write” a plan in some sort of format.
Of course, the first thing I did was start to research if a written business plan was still around and as a business owner if you really need to create one. How much could the world’s expectations for business plans change from the time I spent advising high schools students for the SkillsUSA national business plan competition?
Guess what? The business plan did not change much and it is still a way to take your idea and convey it to others. The business plan provides you, as a business owner, a way to work through and determine your business’s future intentions and the way you plan to achieve them. Answering the “5 W’s and H” questions i.e. Who, Why, What, Where, When, and How.
The results that you are looking for will determine the format you put all the answers into. Your format could be a drawing on a napkin, a few goals for your year, a picture saved on your phone, a few numbers you have in an excel spreadsheet, a 20-page document with lots of details, or even a video expressing your desires. Simply put, it takes your ideas from your brain and lays them out in a format of your choosing to convey your business idea to another person.
The Small Business Association, SBA, has a traditional business plan format with these sections:
Here are our 5W’s and H questions:
Because a business plan is supposed to help guide you with your business. It helps to take your dreams and desires and turns them into ideas and goals and then helps make them come true. A business plan should be ever changing just like our lives are and allow you to explore what is working or not working. Do you think it is time to pivot your business?
If you are ready to write or re-write your business plan and make it a more formal plan, but feel like you need some assistance? Your Chaos Coordinator is ready, willing and able to assist you with business plan writing and other business management services like content creation, online business and connection management.