Startup Tutorial: Design a Business Plan To Fit Your Business

Startup Tutorial: Design a Business Plan To Fit Your Business

Businesses can do well without planning, many do. However, to become a high performing organization, to grow rapidly, a company really needs a planning and monitoring process. Got yours? I sure do have mine!

Back in 2000 a major shift in my business occurred when I came across the One Page Business Plan® process. Now, don’t let the simplicity of the name fool you. While the process helps you create a business and marketing plan – its much more.

  • Help you diagnosis how every area of your business is doing.
  • Clarify your thinking and focus on the elements that are the most critical to your success.
  • Test your ideas without having to put large amounts of cash at risk.
  • Help you to boost the profits and performance of your small company or department.
  • Be ready to be used over and over again.

If you’re on a budget, as many new business owners are, you can purchase the workbook that includes the Entrepreneur Toolkit CD (for PC and MAC use) at your favorite bookstore, although it’s easier to find online. It includes systematic, practical, interactive exercises and templates, worksheets, powerful sales calculators, mini-sales budgets, one page performance scorecards, sample plans, and bonus tools! All created in programs you usually have on your computer — MS Excel and Word files.

If you’re a more seasoned business owner, department manager or executive, you can sit down at your PC to create your plan in courseware called Point, Click, Plan. Your solid draft will be complete in 1-2 hours.

Together with reading the E-myth Revisited, by Michael Gerber, creating a business plan are “mandatory to do’s” for all business owners. Why? because the E-myth shows you what happens when you don’t have a plan and systems and how much better off you’ll be with them. And the One-Page Business Plan processR helps you simply create your plans and systems to monitor your progress. Creating a plan now, will save you hours upon hours worth of your valuable time and will help you make fewer large and costly mistakes.

Isn’t that what you need as a business owner? Systems that work and more time to do what you’re passionate about? Below are 10 key elements of any process. Most are taken from the One-Page Business Plan® workbook, by Jim Horan.

  1. It helps you choose opportunities more wisely and waste less time because you have a plan in place.
  2. A single page can contain all the elements you need to tell your employees, board of directors, potential partners or banker where you are taking your business and how you are going to get there.
  3. The most important reason to have a business plan is to clarify your thinking, regardless of the size of your company.
  4. Knowing where you’re going creates hope and enthusiasm about the future.
  5. It facilitates creating and analytical thinking, problem solving, communication, and teamwork.
  6. It also brings out procrastination, frustration, differences of opinions and possibly anger.
  7. Somehow writing initiates the transformation from idea to reality.
  8. Writing allows others to participate in your dream and give you feedback.
  9. You review it each day to create the day’s priorities and make decisions about your business.
  10. The Entrepreneur CD, which comes with the book, including scorecards, templates, budgets, and bonus tools to help keep you on track!

©2006 A former Wall Street trader, Maria Marsala is a nationally known business and marketing strategist, trainer, author and owner of Elevating Your Business. Maria helps women involved in financial services, as business owners, independent agents, branch managers and executive to boost profits, productivity and have more playtime – faster! Subscribe to Powerful Business Strategies Ezine to receive your free one-page business and marketing plan audio in your Welcome Note Visit

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