Stalling with writing your business plan? Write it in a day. Here’s how.
What if I told you that you could write “that thing” in a couple of hours? Sounds good?
Thinking back to my time at University I remember it was on the agenda of many business classes. Plus, it was said to be “the thing” to do before you start your business.
Still, I pushed that task for several months before I took all my collected ideas and put them into one document.
Guess what I figured out:
Writing one about your own business is fun! And easy! Because it comes from your ideas and insights.
Isn’t that exactly what we like?
That’s because it’s no longer a “case study” but a stepping stone towards your ideal future and way of work.
Here are my tips for you to get started:
Nailing Part 1: the written description
Doing the written part is like treating any other Word Documents, or Pages if you use a Mac. You have headlines and write text. Think, how many times have you created a document structured with headlines and text. No surprise, this one will contain headlines and text as well. About your business idea, product/service description, customers, market, marketing, financing, milestones + some words about yourself. Keep it short and simple (10-15 pages max). Search and find a template. It might contain questions or journal prompts that can serve you as a jumpstart. Answering these questions can help you to come up with the text to outline what’s important.
Handling Part 2: the financial overview and planning
I know this part can be intimidating. I have some good news here as well. No one said you have to create the Excel Document with all the formulas yourself.
Get yourself a template.
Then doing this part is plug & play.
Enter your expenses and income. The template will contain worksheet tabs on your household budget, monthly expenses, planned revenue, profit after tax calculation, forecast for the next years.
How to get this template?
Do a google search, check with your local bank, the website of your economic chamber,… They likely have a template that already contains formulas and worksheet tabs on these calculations. However, it’s always good you check the formulas.
Again, even an Excel Document just holds information on something with a value next to it. “Internet expenses” “20 Euros”, “Website hosting” “12 Euros”. Get started with as much as you know right now.
A word of caution
Don’t get insecure about the validity of these assumptions when it comes to doing these calculations. Do your best to come up with some numbers and scenarios. Likely, you don’t have an established base of fixed customers when you’re starting fresh. Nor might you be sure what products will sell best.
Do your best and come up with your best guesses on these estimated numbers. Your “guesstimates”.
Remember your business foundation
- Revenue = pieces sold * a price set by you.
- Expenses. Know yours. Rather overestimate than underestimate.
- Taxes and social security expenses. The template will likely calculate the resulting amounts automatically.
- Don’t overcomplicate it. Keep it short and simple.
- Treat doing this business plan as progress along your way of being an entrepreneur.
- Embrace getting into the “creator” mode.
Note that a business plan is not a piece that ultimately determines your success. As said, it’s a Word- and Excel-Document. A business plan is an outline of your vision and planning.
Real success comes from you showing up in the market. From your interactions with potential customers, making offers, getting customers, selling your services, and providing quality and value.
Your part now
So hop right into it. Get started keeping track of your business idea in this neat form of a compact business plan.
Already have one? Then get that “dusty” piece out of your folder structure and take a look at it again. What do you notice?
Please share any insights with me or others. The best insights come when discussing what’s on your mind. Have a different question? Let me know. I might create a post about that as well.
With all my appreciation,
About the author
Tina Helmreich provides productivity solutions for individuals and is a business consultant for corporate businesses working on international, financial, and IT-related projects.
Tina has lived in Switzerland and Finland and worked in Canada, the US, China, and Austria.
Early on, she was fascinated by the way people arrive at a decision and how satisfied people are with their life. Delays, unsatisfying results, or misunderstandings are often rooted in a lack of communication or strategic orientation – and not missing skills or lack of ambition.
Tina decided to become a certified NLP trainer, according to the American Board of NLP, early on when she was still writing her master thesis on strategic decision making.
Today she uses her knowledge to help people and organizations filter through the noise and focus on what creates an impact. Her productivity solutions for individuals build on a person’s strength and integrate with the many facets of everyday life (social life, private life & work-life dynamics, health, rest & recovery, …) considering a holistic, productive, and doable solution to a person’s life.
Tina works remotely and in English with people from all over.
She loves helping businesswomen in particular who are already highly educated, self-aware, and are just a little bit scared to show up. Tina has the energy, positivity, and big-picture thinking to guide her students step by step to their solution.