- By Donna Douglas
That's because of how it sounds. Business plan. Business plan. Drudge. Drudge. Market segmentation. Financial forecasting. Revenue streams. Potential competitive challenge. Is it any wonder?
Most entrepreneurs, actually, don't write a business plan before they start out. Often, they write the plan at the request of a bank when they go for additional financing. Or, they write the plan when faced with an enormous growth challenge.
Let's look at this through a different filter.
Where am I going?
Suppose I'm climbing into the pilot's seat of a small plane. I'm headed over to a small Ontario airfield on the shores of Lake Huron.
I might (should) have lots of questions before I do my aircraft walkaround and take off.
What direction do I need to fly to get where I'm going?
What's the altitude rule for the direction I'm going?
How much fuel do I need to get there based on wind velocity and air speed?
Does anybody know where I'm going? Have I filed any kind of flight plan?
Is there an airfield where I can refuel if I need to?
It makes sense to ask these questions before your flight. The same goes for your business plan, or business 'flight.'
Where am I going?
Before I climb into the owner's seat, I want to have some idea of where I'm going.
How I'm getting there.
What I'm going to do when I get there.
With whom I'm going to travel.
How I'm going to make money.
What it's going to cost me to make money.
How I will recognize opportunities.
How I will get the word out about myself.
Who's out there to help me.
There are so many things to know before we jump in the aircraft of self-employment and take off for an airfield that we 'hope' will be there for us.
Think of it as a journey. Prepare for it to be a destination. Then the words Business Plan can take on whole new meaning.
There's help out there. When you're looking for it, make sure it is user-friendly, pleasant, challenging, enlightening and fun.
There are online business plans you can fill out. There are booklets and CDs published by banks. There are opportunities to sit with others in similar attitude and learn together. That's what I offer at: http://www.donnadouglas.com/business-plans-workshop.html.
It's a matter of altitude, as well as attitude.