Business planning may not always be necessary task for all business owners, but it should be strongly considered. Business Planning isn’t typically something that excites people. Afterall, planning for the future and setting reasonable smart goals is not an easy task, which is why many owners put it off or forgo it all together.
There’s no need to try and tackle an entire business plan in one sitting. Just like any big project, you can start with an outline and the information you have at hand. David Inskeep suggests this plan of action as well. “If you tackle it in smaller bits and pieces, the project will be more manageable,” is David’s first piece of advice when it comes to getting started on your business plan. Write down the notes and information you have, your goals, the questions that constantly nag you, and anything else that’s on your mind regarding business growth and goals.
The the next thing to do is actually schedule time to sit down and work on it. Block off time on your calendar and think of it as a task that needs your time, rather than just thinking about it or making notes informally.
Use Tools for Added Help
You may have tried using a business plan template or a software program to aid in your business plan development. While these tools don’t do the work for you, they can definitely help you save time and follow a system.
- SBA’s online Business Plan Tool and free business planning tools and templates that SCORE offers are perfect to get organized and make a dent in your planning.
- Another type of tool that works for some people is hiring a business coach. A business coach can help with many things besides a business plan, but if you are feeling stuck, this is a great foundation that they can help you build.
“...if you have an accountability partner to push you and speak life to you in situations where you are just about ready to call it quits, your chances of succeeding drastically improves.” - smallbiztechnology.com
Ask for Feedback
After making progress with your plan, ask for feedback from non-biased people in your life. Other business owners or professionals, friends, or a coach can help provide feedback that may allow the plan to keep changing shape in a natural way. Feedback helps us seeing things that we might be missing. When we work closely on a project, it’s easy to have a laser focus that doesn’t allow you to see other opportunities for growth or improvement. Feedback is essential in all areas of your business, business planning included.
A business plan might focus on several parts of your business including successful growth, financial planning, product or service testing, location expansion, and more. If there is one part of the business that really interests you, use that as your starting point. Sometimes inspiration comes from listening to a TED talk or a podcast. Also, considering taking breaks if needed. Anytime we work on a large project or ongoing task, burnout is possible. Avoid burnout and stay inspired by taking breaks and doing something to relax and refresh your mind.