Most new small business owners and creative entrepreneurs freak out when they think of writing a business plan. It seems overwhelming, way too complicated, and boring as hell. All you can think about is pages full of business jargon, hours and hours of research, and a bunch of charts and spreadsheets you don’t understand. It’s the last thing you want to do. You’d rather focus on building your customer base, developing your product and services, and creating those fun marketing campaigns. Yet every business website you visit and every article you read on entrepreneurship tells you that you need to write a business plan. Your company is not really viewed as a real business to the outside world without one. The bank wants to see one before they consider you for a loan. Even Uncle Willie wants to skim through it before he invests one red cent. Face it honey, you’ve gotta have one.
A true business plan is your road map. It breaks down everything from the purpose of your business to exactly how you will make money to specifically who your customers are. It serves as your guide when deciding what products or services to add, what clients to take on, and what new marketing strategies to employ. Think of it as your Business Bible. Read it, study it, meditate on it, and do what it says!
Your business plan should reflect YOU and what you want to accomplish with your business. The first step in writing your plan is creating your Vision Statement.
1. What do you want to be when you grow up?
Think about where you want your business to be 5-10 years from now. What will it contribute to the world beyond your bottom line? Who will you company impact that you will never meet? What is the ultimate purpose?
2. Dream Big
Don’t limit yourself to what you know or what you have already experienced. What do you really want to accomplish? Are you a one woman show with dreams of creating a worldwide community of strong women entrepreneurs? Are you a local soup kitchen with a vision of ending world hunger? Are you a fashion stylist who won’t rest until you rid the world of spandex? Whatever you want to do, you can do it! Or die trying, honey! Even it you don’t make it, you will leave the torch so close to the finish line for the next generation that somebody is bound to reach the goal!
3. Craft a visual
I am a huge fan of vision boards. Not only does it allow the 13 year old girl in me to come out and play (glitter glue, scented markers, and all), it is a great way to make my vision “real” before it comes to fruition. It is a motivator every day. The actual process of creating one gets my creative juices flowing and I find the cutest shoes when I flip through and cut out of magazines. If you’re not visual or crafty, do whatever will loosen you up and allow you to dream freely. Write a short story about your vision. Build a lego mockup. Makeup a song. Just make sure you read it, look at it, or listen to it every single day. THIS is why you are in business.
4. Use your unique voice
When writing out your vision statement, and your entire business plan, don’t try to be someone else. Use your distinct voice and style. Of course, if you’re presenting an investor with a business plan, your Vision Statement shouldn’t be, “Yo, yo, yo…I make people happy.” But if you are a laid back, trendy, hip comedian who wears mix-matched sneakers on stage as you quip about current events, you wouldn’t write something like, “My goal is to present comedic solutions to today’s youth as they maneuver the trials and tribulations of life in a society that is divided by class, politics, and socioeconomic status of citizens of the great nation of the United States of America.” Booooooooo!
5. Write it out
Your vision statement should be a few straight forward sentences. No fluff fluff. Get to the point and proclaim to the world why you are here.
Crafting a business plan is a going to be challenging, eye-opening, heart-breaking and a total game changer. When you are done, you will know your business, your industry, your competition, and most importantly, your customer inside and out. And if you write it well, you can take it straight to the bank. If you need help writing your business plan, contact me for a free consultation.
Share with me your Vision Statement by tagging my on Instagram @MzRachelzPlace or shoot me an email. Next week we will work on your Mission Statement. Your vision statement is about tomorrow, while your Mission Statement is about today.
Until next time,
Rachel Henderson is a single mompreneur who helps other single mothers turn their pass ion into profit, while maintaining their home. She has over 20 years experience in accounting and business, and is now focused on spreading entrepreneurship among young single mothers. Her hobbies include cooking, shopping, and making gift baskets. She lives and plays with her three boys in sunny Los Angeles, CA. Her faith and the love of her family keeps her motivated every day. For more information visit www.mzrachelzplace.com.