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So, do you actually need a business plan?

Out of 300 people polled, 72% said they did NOT have a written business plan. The truth is that most of you reading this article do not have a written plan.

Why Are People Not Writing the Business?

Let’s see. You know you need a business plan. You’ve heard it from many sources, “Write your business plan!” So, you sit down and begin. Hmmm… bios, sales and growth projections, competition, graphs, marketing. It all seems so overwhelming.

You realise this is going to take longer than you thought. You put it down to continue another night. That night doesn’t come.

Sound familiar?

How about this scenario: you actually finish your business plan. One year later, you realise you have not accomplished your goals, your finances are not where they were projected. You feel like you are failing.

Can anyone relate?

Relax, it’s okay. The big business plan is really not for small, home-based owners. So, scrap the big business plan.

Here’s an idea better than the Big Business Plan.

It’s not that big business plans don’t work for small business and solo entrepreneurs, rather, they can’t work.

The traditional business plan is really only for one reason – to sell your business idea to investors. If you’re looking for venture capital, you have to put together a big business plan, and a very good one at that. While a very small sampling of you may wish to go this direction, the reality is that most home-based business owners are simply wanting to make a decent living at home.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

In a poll of 300 online home-based business owners, 64% said they work part-time on their online business and receive part-time income from it. A pretty big chunk of online home-based businesses. These are people who are simply looking for a little extra cash, or they look at their business as a hobby.

Contrast that with a paltry 16% of home business owners works full-time at home and receives full-time income. I would venture to say that an extremely small percentage of this group is actually looking for serious venture capital to take their business to another level.

The Assumed Purposed of The Business Plan

Don’t get me wrong, we could all use a little extra funding, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. A few thousand dollars to start up your business doesn’t usually come from investors.

Keeping this in mind, if we put together a traditional business plan (to impress investors), generally, what we put into the plan, will be the wrong things for the wrong reasons. If impressing the investors is not your intent, you can’t succeed in this kind of plan. It’s that simple.

So, do you actually need a business plan?

Oh, yes! You simply don’t need the traditional business plan. Rather, what you need is a plan that will help you (and only you) take control of our own business and guide your goals. Think of it as a guide that will give you direction and keep you on track.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Why am I doing this business? What are my motives?
  2. What do I personally want to do with this business? What do I want to gain?
  3. Where are my personal strengths to offer to the business? What are my weaknesses?
  4. What new knowledge will I need?
  5. What parts of my business can I outsource?
  6. Where do I want to be in six months from now? One year? Five years?

See the difference? These questions are you-based. Write down your answers as a preface to your plan. Refer to these questions often and adjust your answers as your perspectives change over time and as your knowledge grows.

Go out there and make the best of how ‘YOU’ can succeed in business on your terms.