Writing a Business Plan

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Writing a Business Plan

Postby Traci on Fri Nov 16, 2007 11:32 am

I guess if I want to start my own business I should write a business plan. Actually, I'd rather not write one.

Do you have a business plan? Did you use something like Biz Plan Pro, or did you follow a template from the Small Business Administration?

What did you use to help you write a business plan?

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Postby Mel on Fri Nov 16, 2007 3:35 pm

I didn't do a formal business plan. I took a spiral notebook and wrote out why I wanted a business. What I wanted to accomplish with it, where I wanted to see it in 5 years and then created sort of an outline of how I was going to get there.

I also included how much $ I figured I'd need to set aside for taxes and business expenses as well as how much I had to earn and that total was the MINIMUM I had to earn a year. That gave me a good idea of if my business was even feasible and also told me how hard I had to work and what rates I needed to charge to help me reach that goal.

I definitely haven't met everything on my list or on time but it's something I look back on and see where the next step is.

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Postby Mila on Sun Nov 18, 2007 5:20 am

I do something similar to Mel and I also revise and make changes every once in a while. If you were going to apply for a loan or something like that then a more formal plan would be needed but for your own records you just need to know all the details and the math to get started. A spreadsheet, notebook or similar will do.

There are a few business plan books and software on Amazon though but I can't personally recommend any.
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Postby sq625 on Tue Nov 20, 2007 3:14 am

I also have kept my business plan simple. It was really just basic goal setting and what I wanted to accomplish in the world of online marketing.
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Do what is comfortable for you.

Postby ZedBiz on Wed Nov 28, 2007 12:14 am

A business plan is important - but it can come in a variety of styles and shapes.

Do what works for you. From writing out your goals and action steps on a napkin to writing a 40 page plan - neither is wrong.

One thing that many people are using lately is mind maps. They are a great way to work out projects or your whole business visually in a way the mind understands.

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Postby Vera on Thu Nov 29, 2007 4:36 pm

I have a confession, when I was opening my very first store I did not have a business plan in place at all. Don't spend forever on it but it's great to have vision to where you want to go. I've only been doing this in the past year.
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Postby suzeygal on Tue Dec 11, 2007 10:12 pm

Having a business plan is definitely a good idea. Depending on your circumstances, you can make anything from a very detailed plan down to just the basics. I believe it all depends on what each individual thinks they need in order to get everything in order and get your business where you feel it needs to be.

Whether or not you actually map out a detailed business plan is up to each individual, but regardless, it is always a good idea to at least make some notes to help keep you on track during the startup phase.
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Postby Vera on Wed Dec 12, 2007 12:53 pm

Come to think of it, we kind of had one. We kept a enormous white board and wrote all our goals out on it and crossed them off as we accomplished it. That was years ago and haven't done it since. I think I even have a picture of it back then, we had it in our rental duplex home.
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