Have you ever searched ‘how to create a business plan’?
Everywhere you look there are opinions, none the same, creating confusion and lacking what you need: a plan to move forward.
Today’s episode is how to create a business plan that you’ll actually finish and use.
Learn how to create a business plan that includes these six elements:
- Your Mission
- Your Ideal Client Avatar
- Your Process
- Your Unique Value Proposition
- Your Marketing Channels
- Your Goals
Rather skim before you listen? ⬇️
I started my business back in 2018 and when I did, there was a lot of information available to me. There is even more
When someone is starting a new business and goes to the obvious place, Facebook, to figure out what their first step is, the most popular answer I see is to create a business plan. And under each mention of a business plan, I also see others chiming in that a business plan is an antiquated practice and they don’t need one at all.
So that clears things right up, right?
So then aspiring entrepreneur turns to Google to help them figure out how to write a business plan or start a business without one. And they get lost in a hole of jargon, numbers, and confusion OR have no direction, so they give up before they ever start their business. Meaning that dream was dashed against the rocks before it could make it out of the harbor.
There are plenty of business coaches, gurus, and other entrepreneurs who are happy to share their opinion but leave out one really important piece: how to help someone figure out for themselves how to move forward.
If you are going to have investors, a board of directors, going on Shark Tank, or a business partner, you likely need to go through the process of creating a formal business plan.
But if you are a solopreneur who is self-funded, you don’t need a 40-page business plan full of jargon that no one will ever read.
A simple business plan can be exactly what you need to get the clarity you need and then…
TAKE MASSIVE ACTION. And that is exactly what I’ll be talking about in today’s episode: how to create a business plan that you’ll actually finish and use.
Because a business plan isn’t your business. It’s just the beginning.
Not all business plan templates are created equal. I’ve found more than my fair share of all sorts, but one thing I found was massive amounts of necessary information was overlooked OR it was so intense and detailed that it took months to write. Neither of these things is going to help you move forward.
The point of a business plan is that you have the ability to sit down and make some decisions about your business to serve as a guiding light and a decision filter so you know how to spend your limited time, energy, and money — all very precious resources to brand-new entrepreneurs.
And so there is certain information that you need to create those decision filters and some that is extraneous and just gets in the way.
Here is the information I recommend that you put together to create a business plan that works.
- Your Mission
- Your Ideal Client Avatar
- Your Process
- Your UVP (or unique value proposition)
- Your Marketing Channels
- Your Goals
I am going to go through each of these in detail, but if you want to get a pretty, designed business plan template to fill out that actually walks you through each one in even greater detail, you can grab my Boss Up Biz Plan freebie, which is a single-page plan that includes all this info along with detailed instructions on how to determine each aspect. You can grab it for free at workwithprocess.co/bizplan
Okay, let’s dive into each of the 6 elements of your business plan:
The first is your mission. And when I say mission, I don’t just mean business. As the CEO and founder and probably initial wearer of all hats, your mission in your whole life matters. Your mission is a 1-2 sentence motto that shows what impact your business and life has in the larger world.
For example, mine is to help remove barriers for women to create, build, and live the life of their dreams. Everything I do in business and life is related back to this mission. It is my heart’s driving force.
If creating a mission feels a bit daunting, don’t worry. Here are a few tips to make this a bit easier.
Think beyond you. Your mission is really about your contribution to the larger world so focus on what your business does for others. It can be easy to think, well my mission is to make more money, but that is a bit surface level. We want to get to the bottom of your desires and heart’s driving force here in order to make this as powerful as possible.
Keep it simple. You don’t need a full paragraph or to address every problem in the world. One true statement will suffice.
Don’t overthink it. It doesn’t have to be perfect, and believing it does will keep you from moving forward. Set a timer for 10 minutes and when the timer goes off, you are finished.
The next element is Your Ideal Client Avatar. This is just a big fancy term for knowing who you are serving. He or she is the dream customer that you serve through your business. You’ll want to understand everything about him or her because that will make serving them easier. And marketing to them and creating solutions that they will actually want.
This can include demographics like age range, life stage, gender, roles and titles, family structure, income level, marital status— a whole slew of all-about-me details. But just as important if not more important is the psychographics, meaning how they think and make decisions. Demographics often give us insights into the psychographics, which is why having an understanding of both can be helpful.
Another aspect of the ideal client avatar is what I call the Pain or Problem and the Promised Land dichotomy. You aren’t going to try to solve all problems for your ideal clients. You are focused on solving a very specific problem or alleviating a specific pain point. This is an opportunity to get clear on the ONE major problem, the big one that keeps them up at night.
The other side of that is the Promised Land or what they actually want. This is what their life would be like if that problem was solved. Hint: This is the promise that you’ll lead with in much of your marketing, so having a deep understanding of what that Promised Land looks like in their day-to-day is super valuable.
The process is the third element. This is how you are gonna get that ideal client from the problem to the promised land. Are you using mindset coaching? A specific framework that you’ve learned or developed?
This isn’t your exact offer with all its features and benefits but the steps you’ll walk your ideal client through for their transformation.
So, to add this to your problem and promised land. What are the milestones that your client needs to hit along that journey? How will you help them get there?
Again, this isn’t necessarily for one offer. It’s about your whole business. As an example, my process is a combination of customizable business strategy, true productivity, and self-mastery & mindset. These three things in combination run throughout everything I offer and create in my business and that combination also helps me stand out in the market.
Speaking of standing out in the market, the fourth element is your UVP or unique value proposition. So, I know this sounds like a big, fancy business word, but really all it means is “how are you different?”
You likely aren’t the only one doing what you do. But what makes you stand out? What distinguishes your business from others?
Is it your approach? A signature framework? Your experience?
This will be helpful as you make your business stand out, even in a market a lot of others are in.
I know business coaches or others in this space who say your distinguishing factor is you, you beautiful unicorn you. And I partially agree with this.
Yes, your unique combination of experiences and skills and strengths IS what makes your business stand out. But you can’t just put in your messaging that you are the reason they should sign with you over someone else. You need to explain why they should care and why it’s advantageous for those potential clients.
My UVP is a combination of a shame-free and judgment-free safe space to fail, a push to experiment, and helping others create systems for running their successful businesses and fulfilling lives that are customized to who they are and what they want.
The fifth element to include in your business plan, is your marketing channels.
We are lucky as entrepreneurs in the 21st century because we have incredible marketing channels at our fingertips, most of which are FREE.
I recommend that you know where you are starting with marketing and on what platforms. Since not all platforms or channels are created equal, knowing this can provide excellent information as to where you need to focus your time and energy early on to gain traction.
Some of the more popular ones are
- EMAIL MARKETING
You don’t HAVE TO do any of these, and you don’t have to do all them from the get go.
Which ones intrigue you? Where is your ideal client hanging out? How do they gather information to solve the problem you solve?
The final element to include in your simple business plan is your goals. This is my favorite part.
This gives you a guiding light, a north star to follow so you know what you are working towards.
Where do you want the business to be in a year?
What about 5 years?
DON’T BE AFRAID TO DREAM BIG HERE.
And don’t just focus on revenue here. Think about impact as well.
How much money do you want to make?
How many lives do you want to positively impact?
And that’s it. Business plans don’t have to take months to complete or be filled with a bunch of business jargon to be useful.
By completing a simple business plan, whether you’ve started your business or not, you can gain confidence and reassurance in the direction you are going and start or continue to build towards it faster and easier.
I always like to end each episode with an action step that you can take right now to help you move forward and begin to implement immediately. Here is your action step for this episode:
Download my Boss Up Biz Plan at workwithprocess.co/bizplan and fill it out. You’ll end up with a single page business plan to give you the decision filters and directions you need to move forward.