I’m a Melbourne mum of 2 cheeky teenage boys and 2 super-cute puppies. And I know what it means to juggle motherhood and this crazy thing called life with running a profitable business you love.
I’ve struggled with it at times. But I’ve also succeeded. In a BIG way.
July is the perfect time to do some “what’s next” thinking for your business. If you don’t have a business plan, then you definitely need to read on. If you do have a plan, it’s time to update it. They’re meant to be evolving documents that get a brush-up every 6 – 12 months!
Putting pen to paper (or keyboard to screen) does a lot of good things for your business but in our opinion, the most important purpose is that it allows you to make good decisions. Business owners make decisions – big and small – constantly throughout the day. The big ones can have even bigger implications on business success and having a great accountant to help you get across the numbers when considering options and having a plan that outlines goals and vision and where you want to be in the future means that decision-making is significantly easier.
Making big calls on a whim spells disaster and the approach you take can be the difference between a short-lived or a future-proofed business.
A business plan should encompass the key areas that will help you do things like raise capital, inform decisions as per above and keep you on track to reaching whatever it is you want to reach. Don’t stick to rules in the plan, touch on areas of importance in the scheme of your unique business and cover things you know are crucial to success in your industry.
Having said that, there are certain sections that every business plan should cover.
To get the ball rolling (particularly if strategy and/or writing isn’t your usual jam), start with a one-pager. It should summarise the most important parts of why your business exists and how it’s going to operate:
Here’s another reason to create a business plan: if you can’t answer the above points pretty easily, you may need to rethink the business idea. It’s continually surprising to us when we sit down in strategy meetings and clients often can’t outline their target market (or go the opposite way and say all of Australia), or their competitive advantage. These things must be clear if you have a shot at succeeding in the long run.
Ready to take it up a notch? Here are some more areas to add and expand on when you’re ready for more than one page:
Pivoting might be the word of 2022… and if nothing else, it taught us that to survive, businesses have to be constantly evolving and adapting to whatever’s happening in the industry – whether that’s a huge curve ball or a slow and steady change that’s easy to predict.
We’re all on the same page: if your business isn’t evolving, it’s dying. If it’s not growing, it’s shrinking (growth doesn’t only mean team size or revenue). So as you make these changes, your business plan needs updating. Seems simple but we reckon most of you haven’t opened the business plan document in quite a while. To make it easier, here are some questions to ask yourself when you find the time to update:
No matter your business size or your industry, a great business plan means you’re setting yourself up for success, early on. There’s no point in it being completed, closed and living in a Sharepoint folder somewhere though. Use it! Circulate it internally, and print it out. Refer back to it when you have decisions to make throughout the day. It’ll keep you on track, accountable, and will hopefully make your business-owning job a bit easier.
Do you want to Take the Leap from Side Hustle to Successful Small Business? I can help.
Within the Creative Product Institute Mastermind, you will create a strategic plan for scalability and consistent thriving cash flow to launch your business to the next level.
If 2022 is your year to scale your Product Business, book a complimentary 30-minute call with me here to see if The Creative Product Institute is right for you.
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