Do You Really Need a Business Plan?
That’s the question for today! And it’s an extremely important question!
And the answer to that question is always a resounding “YES!”
The question that you should be asking yourself is:
What Kind of a Business Plan Do I Need?
OK, now we’re getting somewhere. Every business needs a business plan, and if you are a blogger, you should consider yourself a business. So should you have a business plan? You bet! Got it?
OK, Lucy. ‘Splain to Me!
If you ask people about writing a business plan, you’ll strike fear in their hearts. But writing a business plan is nothing to be afraid of. It’s simply a guide to running your business.
It establishes the name of your business, it lays down the purpose of your business, it sets out your goals and it explains how you’re going to achieve those goals.
Sometimes The Simplest of Business Plans Will Do
A business plan can be as simple or as detailed as you need to explain your business—in the beginning mostly to yourself—and to keep you on track as you move along and grow. Maybe you can just use some Post-It notes like the one in the image above.
Or here’s a simple business plan for my blog, OggieSEZ.
- Name: OggieSEZ
- Purpose: Help other bloggers become the blogger the really want to be
- Goals: Make my readers realize their potential and become the most awesome bloggers they can be
- How: Write at least one blog post a week (OK, OK, so I need some work on this one! Nobody’s perfect!)
There you have it! A very simple business plan. Sometime that all you need!
But Sometimes You Need a Little More
As your business grows and becomes more complex, you may find you need to expand your plan.
For instance, rather than just writing blog posts, you think you can help those fellow bloggers of yours more if you work up some audio or video courses.
Or maybe you want to add someone else to your workforce to take care of some of those necessary tasks you find yourself too busy to do or just don’t want to do anymore.
There are plenty of reasons.
Then you’ll have to rewrite the plan to incorporate those things too. The plan is getting a little more involved now, isn’t it? But it’s still easy enough. Right?
And Sometimes You Need a Lot More
If your business really takes off and expands like some businesses do, you’ll really need to revamp that business plan. If your dreams grow bigger and the only way you’ll be able to realize them is with an investor or two or a small business loan, you’re getting to the place in your business where that business plan needs to be a lot more specific.
If you find you’ll be asking someone for money (a bank or an investor), you’re going to have to provide some pretty specific and detailed financials and probably some other information as well.
Tons of Information Available Online
Until you get to this point in your business, I don’t think you need much assistance, although it never, ever hurts to use the Google machine or the YouTube machine to find out more about what your doing (whatever it is!)
There is a lot of information and assistance available online, including from the Small Business Administration (SBA). I recommend you visit their website to learn more about business plans and even to build one on their website.
Most other websites are either not too helpful or are expensive, so try the SBA first.
Remember, for most small businesses writing a business plan isn’t all that difficult.
But, let me make myself clear, every business needs a business plan. Without a plan you don’t know where you’re going!