A Business Plan to Rock the World

So!

You’ve got this brilliant idea for a business.

You’re going to open your very own extra special, super-duper, unfreakingbelievable lemonade stand.

Sure, there are other lemonade stands out there, but nothing like yours. We’re talkin’ the Taj Mahal of lemonade stands. No small time orange crate with Mom’s glass pitcher for you.

You’re a player. You dream big.

There’s just one teeny-weeny minor hitch — you need $100,000 to get started, just for the basics, of course. You will absolutely, positively make that back in a month or two, but right now, you’re just a bit short on cash.

So what’s an innovator like you to do?

For all you right-brain creatives out there, this is going to be a very tough pill to swallow.

It’s time for a Business Plan. Gasp!

Okay, don’t panic! Writing a Business Plan doesn’t have to feel like mercilessly ripping the scab off a healing wound.

No matter how much the world needs this new thing of yours, you are probably going to need some help letting your needy future customers know about this incredible product or service that will change their lives forever.

For you left-brainers, plan it all out, look before you leap, and consider all the potential roadblock types out there, I’ve merely stated the obvious.

But don’t act all smug while I single out the creatives, because you just might be overly cautious and afraid to take that big leap into the unknown where uncertainty lurks around every corner.

So, hop on the bus, Gus! And let’s ask the question to begin all questions:

What is a business plan?

First of all, you cannot skip it, regardless of how you define it.

To borrow from your elementary school years, think of your business plan as the answer sheet to the final exam.

In other words, your business plan is your friend. It will show you where to go before you’re there.

I like to get even more dramatic and think of a business plan as the autobiography of a business written from the womb. It starts in that quiet place where you are totally safe to write the story of how you made it big and overcame all obstacles along the way.

The story begins by answering the obvious questions:

  • What is your vision?
  • What is your product/service/brilliant idea?
  • Who are your customers?
  • What is your competition?
  • How will you reach your customers?
  • Money: Will you make it? How? How much? How fast? How much do you need to get started?

These are questions both left- and right-brainers can answer.

So, write out your answers, and you will have the guts of your business plan taking shape. Don’t worry about grammar or punctuation or how it sounds yet, just write. You can clean it up later. Right now we just want to get the story on paper.

This thing is as much for you as it is for any potential investor. Your business plan is the compass you will use to guide you through the life of your business.

As you write, role-play issues regarding competition, manufacturing, staffing, and financing that may arise once you are up and running. Remember, this is a safe place to play, experiment, and dream.

Once you are in business, when you come upon rough waters, if you have written a sturdy business plan, it will guide you through the storm. The vision you have for your business will be deeply embedded in the culture you create. You will ALWAYS have it to refer to when directional questions arise.

Once your first draft is fleshed out, take some time to digest what you’ve just read. Block out an hour of your schedule just for solitude and reflection.

Are you ready to embark on this incredible journey called “starting your own business”? Are you ready to be the biggest you, you’ve ever been?

I hope you are, because this is the journey of a lifetime. This is the time to jump in and just believe. In yourself. In your business. In your dreams.

We’ve all heard it said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

I don’t know who first proclaimed that, but he or she was a damn genius.

To launch, to run, to grow a business — that is a goal.

Your business plan is your lifeline from the present to the future, from dreams believed in to dreams fulfilled, from a vision to deliver value to the world to gratitude from the world because your vision came to pass.

All of that, with a business plan.

None of that, without a business plan.

Ready to rock the world with yours?

Are you ready to become the next success story?