What is a Business Plan and Why Make One?

What is a Business Plan and Why Make One?

Module 1: What is a Business Plan & Why Make One?

🎯 Our goal in this module is to explain why it is critical to create a plan to launch, operate, and grow your business.

Here’s what will need to be included in your Business Plan:

Notice that you are already well on your way to assembling many of these elements!

The Problem (Almost Done)
Your Solution (Almost Done)
Your Company Description (Almost Done)
Your Value Proposition (Almost Done)
Summary of Your Research (Almost Done)
Your Analysis of the Industry (Almost Done)
Your Assessment of the Competition (Almost Done)
Your Target Market & Marketing Plan (Half Done)
Your Operations (To Be Done)
Your Leadership & Management Team (To Be Done)
Your Financials (To Be Done)
Ask & Deal (To Be Done)

As you can see, you are more than halfway there!

Take a moment to think about all that you are doing in preparation for launching your business:
  • Researching the industry that you will be working in.
  • Learning about your potential competition.
  • Interviewing potential customers and industry insiders to gain insight into the exact nature of the problem and candid feedback on your product/service idea and how to improve it.
  • Talking with friendly competitors to learn about their actual experiences doing business in this industry.
  • Sorting out in detail exactly how you will operate your business—acquiring customers, producing and delivering your product/service, managing your team and your business, etc.
  • Estimating all the costs of starting and operating your business.
  • Determining when you will break even and start making profit.
  • Calculating how much funding you will need to reach this break-even point.

The work that you do during this period of planning and preparing to launch and build a successful business is the same as you would be doing to prepare for a competition in any sport. 

You are acquiring the knowledge, skills, and confidence that will give you a competitive edge in the world of business and enable you to adapt to and overcome the inevitable challenges you will face after launching your business.

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Creating your Business Plan is simply pulling all this work together and organizing it into a concise narrative that can be shared with others—your team, investors, banks, family & friends, potential employees etc.

Think of your Business Plan as the “story” of your high potential opportunity.

Creating a business plan in the way that you are going about it is a major step in the process of bringing your dream into reality.

Chances are that your actual experience in business will be different than what your Business Plan predicts.  That’s expected, and that’s okay. 

You are just trying to create one scenario where you see a clear path to launching and growing your business successfully.  As soon as you open your doors for business, you will begin making course corrections as needed.

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The real and lasting value of creating a business plan is not so much in the plan, as it is in the planning.

Here are some famous quotes worth thinking about...

“In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” – Mike Tyson

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” – Alan Lakein

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln

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If you have an abundance of time and energy, you could move through Phase 2 in a few days or a week. 

Or, you could spend several weeks or months completing this work.  It will depend on your circumstances and the complexity of your business. 

Just move forward at your own pace.

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Regardless of how much or how little time you spend in Phase 2, your aim should be the same:
  1. Gather enough of the knowledge and information that you will need to launch your business with a significant competitive advantage, and
  2. Develop your capacity to manage your business, adapting to whatever situations you encounter and making course corrections to keep you on a successful, profitable, path after launch.

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