Yikes — The age-old question: “Should I Write A Business Plan?”
Interesting question was asked to me in my private coaching group the other day.
A member asked me if I recommend practitioners and small business owners create a business plan.
I’m curious…do you think you need to create a biz plan when you’re starting, and /or did you create one before you started your biz?
As a business-success coach for thera-preneurs, you can imagine I get asked often if it is needed for a new biz owner to write one.
I wonder if you can guess what my reply is?
It’s the opposite of what most of the ‘other guys’ say.
I say no! No you don’t need to write a business plan! Stop the madness!
(You’ll laugh — in all of my various businesses I’ve NEVER created a business plan, and still have generated millions of dollars over the last 25 years!)
Now, with that being said, the only time I think you need a formal plan is if you are seeking bank financing (they will ask you for it.)
I’m an entrepreneur thru and thru, so I’m a huge believer in being fast to get out in the market place. Too many people hide behind the need to create a business plan before they actually get out and DO SOMETHING!
The most important part is to be smart about what you are doing:
Think it through and take calculated risks, but don’t be afraid to think outside of the box.
1-Create a Clear Vision of what you want your Dream Practice (business) to look like.
2- Make Financial predictions and projections on the basics:
(a) # of clients want in a day or week.
(b) # of hours work in a day or week IN your business & ON your business
(c) Rates you can/will charge for single sessions / programs / packages
(d) Other revenue streams of income
(e) Over-head & expenses for rent, staffing, equipment, monthly utilities, etc.
3- Make Marketing Predictions & A Plan:
(a) Where you will acquire your clients?
(b) What skills will you need to learn (or hire out) to accomplish your marketing and community outreach?
(c) Who can you cross-refer with who also works with your dream clients?
(d) what is your sweet spot for generating leads? Speaking, writing, creating a product to give away or sell… and what methods and means will you do this?
That’s really all you need.
Hopefully I didn’t forget anything important- if I did, ask me about it in the comments below.
Rajam Roose, from roosebusinessconsulting.com agrees:
“No, I didn’t create one for any of the businesses I own. Instead, I formulated an idea of what I wanted to accomplish and then worked backwards from there. I know many will disagree with me, but I think business plans are a waste of time. Sure, if you need a bank loan or borrowing capital, but otherwise……….blah.”
Everything in business is a risk vs benefit:
The successful biz owners see a big payoff from investing their time and resources when and where appropriate.
Hopefully as a thera-preneur, you can see the potential in opportunities and invest wisely where the outcome pays off and over comes the ‘risk of investment’.
(investment will always be in the form of either time &/or money)
So, what the other small biz-owners spend their time analyzing and writing out ends up being a fancy (time wasting) version of this short & sweet business outline.
I think it’s important to emphasis that I do encourage you to be nimble and able to move where ever and when ever you need or see a good opportunity, so you don’t miss out.
Often I see a practitioner business owner get stuck and not take action because either it is perceived as a scary unknown, or simply because it was not written into their biz plan!
If you don’t have a formal business plan, you are FREE to do what is smart, makes good business-sense AND is fun!
Hope this helps –not only to relieve you of the pressure to create a biz plan (if you don’t already have one), but also in giving you the frame work on what IS important to focus on when starting or re-creating your business!
Now it’s your turn. I’m curious to know:
A- Do you think you need to create a biz plan when you’re starting?
B- Did you create one before you started your biz?
Leave your comment below, so we can continue the conversation.
Cheers to Freedom!
Business mentor, Educator and Inspirer to Clinic Owners & Solo Practitioners. Love to hear from you ~ Please share your thoughts in the comments below!
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