I’ve been in business for ten years and I honestly admit that my journey to success has not been without struggles. It did not come without hard work, perseverance, courage, focus, strong support, and lots of passion. Whew! That passion has led me through tunnels, over mountains, into valleys, and taken me over many a bumpy path. No matter how much I planned for what might be, there were still unexpected situations. However, because of my business planning, I had created a strong and solid foundation for my business and was able to weatherproof my journey. It’s about creating a vision and then creating the actionable steps to get there.
Here are the top 5 myths about business planning that I hear the most:
- I don’t need a business plan because I’m just me! You need to have a business plan even if you are a solopreneur. That business plan is going to be the base and your roadmap to all things business. It doesn’t have to be 87 pages long, but it should contain, at a minimum, information on marketing, financial, and operational plans.
- Business plans are too complicated! They don’t need to be complicated, but they do need to be thorough. All information contained in your business plan is for safeguarding your path to success. The more detailed, the more clarity you’ll receive.
- But my plans change all the time! Sure, I can see that might happen, especially as people get clearer on their business vision, when they rebrand, or when they start taking on team members. That is exactly why you need to keep your business plan updated. Revisit that plan every quarter or, at the very least, once a year, to revise as necessary.
- I wouldn’t even know where to begin! It can be a bit confusing. With business jargon and other business-related questions, the average solopreneur isn’t expected to know all of what goes into a business plan. That’s why I’ve created a business plan outline that I work through with my clients. It’s something that helps you start thinking about the types of information contained in a business plan and guides you in gathering the needed information.
- I just want to work on reaching my goals! I know how exciting it can be working towards your goals but, without a business plan to guide you, the path can get pretty muddy very quickly. A business plan acts as a planning tool from which you choose your goals. Then the next step is to take those goals and break them up into manageable, smaller chunks that can be achieved quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily.
Do any of those 5 myths about business planning resonate with you?
Have any of those thoughts ever popped into your mind but you weren’t sure what to do with them? If they have, rest assured that you are not in the minority. Almost every one of my clients and a lot of my colleagues never had a formally written out business plan. In fact, according to an article in Investopedia, one of the four most common reasons that businesses fail is due to inadequate business planning.
Business planning is just the first step of creating clarity around your business goals. There are other steps too but remember, it is about taking one small step at a time, not getting overwhelmed, and not getting caught up in the process. Finding the right people to support you in your journey is one key. Some other keys are clarity, confidence, and focusing on the smaller, manageable steps.
By creating your foundational business plan, taking the time to map out your goals, and listing out the steps you need to take to reach those goals, you and your business will be happily and securely on the path to success.
Pamela Lewerenz is a business consultant that works with ambitious, action-oriented Gen X service-based solopreneurs that are struggling to grow their business. Her mission is to see business owners flourish and she does that by working with them to break through their brick walls—any obstacles that’s in their way of business success!
Before launching her business, Pamela was an administrative assistant in the education field; an administrator & HR specialist in the healthcare field; an administrator, accountant, & client liaison in the financial field; and an elected official in her hometown for over 13 years.
Now that her five children are grown and have begun to bless her with grandchildren, Pamela has formed new passions for how to spend her spare time. She enjoys walks on the beach, photography, baking, cooking, reading, hiking, visiting with family & friends, and traveling around the US with her husband.