Welcome to the third installment of Build Your Online Business (BYOB). Want to learn more about this entire month of June series? Start with the The Secret Ingredient To Building An Online Business.
Let me ask you a question. When you jump in your car or on your bike, do you do so without any idea of where you’re going? Nope? Didn’t think so.
Unless you just felt like taking your car out for a spin or getting lost on a bike ride, I’d say you would almost always know a rough route of where you’re going, how long it will take and what you’ll do once you get there.
So it blows me away that people do not have a road map for their business. A business plan is quite simply a great investment of your time. I hear excuses flying at me from left, right and centre such as:
“I just don’t have time”, “I have too much work to do”, “I’ll do it someday”, “It seems like too much work and too complicated”, “I have no idea where to start”, “I don’t need a business plan, I’m making money already.”
To which I say, `Good luck on your journey to nowhere cos that’s exactly where you’re heading.’
If you take offense at this, then great – I’ve got your attention. I’m not writing this BYOB series to give you all the answers and tools without you putting in some work of your own.
I’d also like to let you know that contrary to what people may tell you, your business plan does not have to be a book. It can be just one page and still work wonders.
Getting Clarity in Your Business Model and Path to Profit
There are many ways to do this and you need to do what works for you. But make sure you take action and actually write it out. You need a clear picture in your head of where you’re heading. Writing down what you’ve been carrying around in your head makes it so much more tangible and instantly clarifying.
Each year I intend to make my progress bigger and better – both personally and professionally, and I do this in just one hour or less (granted I do lots of thinking before hand, and then it’s simply translating these thoughts onto paper).
Make sure you take 30-60 minutes to get that 1 pager written up – it doesn’t have to be perfect, but it’s a damn good start!
The One Page Business Plan
This week I want you to complete a simple 1 page business plan. Here’s how it works, each point below is one section:
- Write out your mission – a sentence that gets your fired up on why you do what you do
- State your 5 main BHAGS – Big Hairy Audacious Goals (make them SMART goals too – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound)
- Write down 5 strategies to achieve those BHAGs
- After that, write down one figure – your total annual budget
- Then write your annual income projection
- Write out your Income Projections and very brief explanations of what makes up your revenue streams (this is how you get the figure for No 5.)
- Follow this with a section on Future income projection – all those things you really want to achieve that are part of your bigger vision
- State your total projected costs and expenses and follow with a brief explanation, e.g $8,000 pa (rent), $9,000 (contractors), $700 (phone) etc
- State your personal credentials (degrees, awards etc) to remind yourself why you’re `worth it’
- Finally, state your 2-3 areas of personal growth and skills you want to invest in this year such as coaching or courses
Surprisingly, this all fits on one page – it’s meant to a snapshot you can refer to every week to ensure you’re on track. Along with it goes a 2-3 page Strategy and Tactics document where I take my goals and strategies and flesh them out further into tangible tactics to take place each month.
More Tips for Your Success
Make sure the goals you have set are realistic – if you have 20 on your list, that’s just a recipe for failure, especially if they’re all very grand. If you put “Earn $1 million dollars in 2 years,” but have no strategies to get you there, then think again.
There’s no way you could lose 5kg in two weeks, run a marathon, start a second business, launch a product, write a book and travel for 6 months for example if you don’t have a plan on how to do that step by step. But you can set monthly and quarterly goals that work towards your bigger goal of financial freedom or healthy eating habits for life that will ensure you don’t give up and instead make your dreams a reality.