Almost all new businesses need a business plan in order to
successfully move from start-up to established business. But a business plan
doesn't have to be long or take months to write in order to be a useful tool
for small business owners.
This exercise provides a quick and painless start to the
business planning process by asking you a series of questions about your
business, your goals and your future plans. The end result is a streamlined and
brief business plan that you can use as-is or as a starting point for a more traditional
Required: 2-3 Hours
Outline the vision
you have for your business by answering these questions: What are you creating?
What will your business look like in one year, three years, and five years?
What is your mission?
Why are you starting this business, and what is the purpose?
List your overall objectives
by outlining your most important business goals, and answering: Are your
business goals considered SMART goals? How will you measure success in
achieving your goals?
Write down your
business strategies by answering these questions: How are you going to
build your business? What will you sell? What is your unique selling
proposition (i.e., what makes your business different from the competition)?
What is the total startup
capital you will need to launch your business?
What do you estimate
your business's ongoing monthly expenses will be immediately after
launch, in three months, in six months, and in one year?
What do you anticipate
your business's ongoing monthly income will be immediately after launch,
in three months, in six months, and in one year?
Create an action
plan by answering: What are the specific action items and tasks you need to
complete now? What are your future milestones? What will need to be accomplished
by those milestones in order to meet your objectives?