Saying your business plan every day

Jim Blasingame

Here is a conversation that happens every day between business owners and the people they meet.

Friend:  “Hi Joe.  Heard you’re starting a new business.  What kind?”
Owner:  “Oh, hi, Sue. Yeah, John and I are going to be selling square widgets to round widget distributors.”
Friend:  “How’re you going to do that?”
Owner:  “We found out that no one has thought to offer square widgets to these guys.  Our research found that they not only need square widgets, but they will pay a premium for them.”
Friend:  “Sounds good.  Where are you going to get your square widgets?”
Owner:  “Well, we discovered that they don’t need first quality square widgets, so we’re buying seconds, cleaning them up, repackaging and delivering them to those customers.”
Friend:  “Sounds like you’ve found a niche.  How many can you sell in a year?”
Owner:  “We’ve identified the need for 15,000 this year, and with the trend in the market, we think we can double that within three years.  Gotta go. See ya later.”

Let’s look at what just happened. Without realizing it, Joe essentially said his business plan. In two minutes Joe identified the business, management team, industry, market niche, customer profile, vendor profile, pricing strategy, market research results and, finally, growth plans.  All that’s left is to add a few other elements, write the narrative and add the numbers.

Since you’re probably having similar conversations, that means you’re saying your business plan without realizing it every day.  But are you getting it on paper so you can use it?  And if you’re asking why, here are the three best answers:

  • To get a bank loan
  • To attract investors
  • Because it’s an essential management tool

Don’t make these business plan mistakes:

  • Don’t wait until you need a business plan to start one.
  • Don’t wait until you have time.
  • Don’t make it harder than it has to be.

The first words of your plan are the seeds from which you will grow your business plan. So just start writing what you already know, like Joe said.

A written business plan will help you achieve new levels of management professionalism. Here’s a good place to see dozens of sample plans that should help you get going:

Write this on a rock... You already have a business plan that you say every day. Now write it down.

 Jim Blasingame, Creator/Host of The Small Business Advocate Show
©2010 Small Business Network, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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