Develop a Realistic Business Plan

Nov 2 / Whitney Gaffari

A Look Back

Ok, so last week we talked about one of the major reasons for burnout is the lack of congruency between the life you want and the life you’re living. I shared a variety of steps using the S.M.A.R.T. model for goal setting to help you create goals that turn you on. This is crucial because without proper planning, the easier it is for systemic roadblocks to knock us off our game. 

I am all for working smarter not harder, and dismantling all the ways in which colonialism has tricked us into believing we aren’t enough. That scarcity mindset really starts to flood in when considering how to plan and prepare to take your biz idea and turn it into a functioning business. There is so much gatekeeping in the world of business and I just don’t believe that should be the case. We all win, if we are ALL able to live the life we want. I’m here to help remove those barriers and help you sustainably launch the business of your dreams.
...Round here we measure success by how many people [are] successful next to you. Here we say you broke if r'body broke, except for you...
Jay-Z
Many small business owners think that if their business is a home business or a small business, they don’t need a real business plan. I can’t even begin to tell you how many clients I have spoken to who have thought this same thing. Annnnnnd admittedly, I held those same thoughts too. I legit held the beliefs that since I’m not getting a business loan, I don’t need to do all that planning.

WRONG!

The truth is if you want to be successful, consistently make an impact in your community, and do it sustainably so you can avoid the potential for burnout, you MUST develop a business plan. A business plan will help you structure, run, and grow your business realistically and sustainably. Plus, creating a business plan isn’t even hard to do. 

Oh BTW,

It’s white supremacy that feeds you the lie that building a business is ONLY obtainable for those who have or are able to benefit from tokenism or having white-passing skin, are straight-passing, or member of an elite class. I’m here to tell you that ALL of those things are WRONG. You can be a leader in your community, and share your gifts and talents all while never having to sacrifice who you are.

Below I will teach you how to start off with just a one-page business plan for your biz even if you’re only running it from your coffee table.

Your business plan should include the following

Describe the Problem

Remember, being a true entrepreneur is literally just a mindset. It’s how you intend to solve a problem. If you find yourself coming back to how your business idea only serves you, then it’s time to rethink your reasons for being in business.

You’ll want to write a well thought out description of the problem that your customers have that you can solve along with any relevant data that describes how you can do that to show proof.

Your Product or Service

This is the solution to the problem above, so you’ll want to go through each product or service you offer and describe the solution in terms of how it solves the problem that the customer (or community member) has. If you have more than one solution, this is the area that might end up taking more than one page. However, going through this can help you with marketing later, and get clearer on what it is you’re offering.

How You Make Money

This is considered your business model. How will you make the money, how much will it cost you to make the money, and what is the price the customer will pay for the solution and how will they pay it? This can look like a variety of different methodologies from client based services, to physical products, to anything across the digital landscape.

Describe Your Customer(s) or Ideal Community Members

Understanding your target market community is an essential component of your business plan and your planning needs. DO NOT SKIP THIS!
Take time to map out, research and deeply understand who your ideal 5-star client is. Then, include a customer avatar detailing who they are throughout the buying journey. Talk about how many customers there are and how much you can earn from each customer throughout their customer life cycle. 

Btw, I’m checkin the pulse as we speak on whether any of you think it would be helpful to offer up a training designed specifically around this topic. Share your thoughts in the community and let me know. Just click on Join Community at the top of the page.

Describe How You're Different

Traditionally, this is where you describe how you’re going to differentiate yourself from your competition. I on the other hand think of these people as potential future collaboration partners, why compete when you can collaborate? However way you choose to look at them, you still need to understand what makes you unique. This is called your “competitive advantage” in business terms. It’s how you use your differences to stand out from the competition and create customer loyalty.

PRO TIP:

This is where you let your light SHINE! School us on how you do what you do, in the manner in which ONLY you can do it.

Describe Your Team

Even if it’s just you, it helps to write down all the tasks and roles that need to be accomplished to make this business work. However, even if it is just you, it’s not just you due to the technology you can use, such as email marketing software, funnel software, and other automation. 

Also, if you plan to outsource anything, write that down too. Maybe the first year you’re doing it all yourself but include financial metrics that trigger outsourcing or major software purchases. Map IT OUT!

Include Key Financial Metrics

You need to know what your budget is for marketing, software, outsourcing, and so forth. This is often called a Financial Summary in a business plan. You’ll want to include figures for now, and your future as you forecast potential sales. Finally, you’ll want to add what funding you need right now to get started or to move forward with your business.

Closing Thoughts

As you go through this process, keep overwhelm and perfectionism at bay by only focusing on writing a summary of each section so that you see what needs to be done in one easy to read page.

As you move forward, or if you are ready to dive deeper, you can add more information to the plan, which will obviously cause it to become a multi-page document. This multi-page document which I often refer to as my "north star" document, allows you to remain clear on what your business does and does not do.

Thus building confidence in who you are and where you're heading as a leader. This simple act will diffuse overwhelm and burnout because you organized  your business realistically and in balance with your entire life. Thus allowing you to accomplish what you set out to do (*ahem* transform the world) rather than keeping it as a mere dream. 
Goals are just dreams broken down into action items.
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