I have been very lucky in my life to have the privilege of working with self-employed and small business owners from all over the globe.
One thing I have learned is that you could be a plumber in Madison Wisconsin, a contractor in Calgary Canada, or a printer in Leeds UK, a bicycle repairman in Beijing China, or a fish and chips shopkeeper in Sydney Australia; you all speak the same language and that is the language of business.
Yes indeed, the language of business has no real borders. Entrepreneurs worldwide face the same challenges on a daily basis.
“How do I increase revenue?” “How do I get more customers?” “Do I need to hire more staff, and if so, when?” “Do I need to raise money for business growth?” “What are my key performance indicators?” And so on
These are universal questions that every owner has asked themselves historically regardless of it being 1822, 1922 or 2022, to the point where someone put a title to the process and the ‘Business Plan’ was created.
The Business Plan or as it is often referred to these days as ‘The Growth Plan’, is like the ‘Google Map’ for business outlining the goals that you want to accomplish and how to achieve them.
Sometimes the plan can be developed over a coffee on a napkin, but commonly it takes a more formal approach using templates as a resource.
Regardless of how it is documented, the business planning process involves thinking, planning and goal setting. This process is actually where the magic takes place, and you create the plan or ‘road-map’ for your business.
The magic is where you dig into your business model and discover your strong points as well as your weak points, where your opportunities lie and how you will survive and grow.
Real questions and real answers!!
The content of each plan will differ from business to business, but the benefits will be similar.
We have devoted other articles to this important issue such as this one titled ‘What is a Business Plan and Why Do You Need One?‘ However, it is a discipline that self-employed business owners often fail to address to their own detriment.
Then there are what I call the Big ‘W’s’ – questions that truly help define your market.
Do you get my drift here? You will probably be able to add more once you get into answering them as in this process you truly begin to see your business opportunity in a different light.
Then you get to ask the Big ‘H’ questions.
Then you look at your financial questions.
You should spare nothing when doing this process as the more finite your questions and answers become, the better equipped you are to move your business forward.
Your Business Plan should be a living, breathing plan that you call upon regularly as a benchmark and not something that you simply file away.
I believe that is why the name ‘Annual Growth Plan’ has evolved in business circles.
The Plan needs to be reworked each year as today’s marketplace is ever changing and businesses who don’t change with the times end up closing and wondering why.
So do yourself a BIG favor and get the damn thing done. PLEASE! For yourself, for your business and for your future.
In the ‘Survive and Thrive in Business’ section of the Self Employed Business Manifesto there is more information Business Plans and you can use it to create a successful business. Click here to read about it or watch the videos.
“I started my own business in 1995. The Self Employed Business Academy gets it. Clear, concise, and actionable information. You may be in business for yourself, but with the self Employed Business Academy at your fingertips, you won't be by yourself"
Ed Carey, AMG, LLC