Business Owners Toolbox Blog Discussions and articles to help the small business owner solve the challenges they face as they grow their business.

August 12, 2008

Sample short business plans

Filed under: Planning — Tags: , , , — Mike Van Horn @ 1:00 pm

Q: I’d like to see some sample short business plans to use as models

A: Shorter is better. My rule: “If you can’t write your plan on a page, you can’t get it done in a year anyway.”

We conduct plan workshops every year, to help business owners complete their Action Plan for the coming year. They devote a day to review their past year’s performance, clarify their long-term business trajectory and how business fits into their life goals, what they must accomplish in the coming year. We use a 70-page workbook with questions about every aspect of running a small business, but by the end of the workshop people reduce it to one sheet.

Note that this is an “action plan” that guides your action. It’s not intended to convince someone else they should put money in your business. Once you have this brief, basic plan, however, it’s much easier to convert it to a strategic plan needed to attract financing. My rule: Plan of action comes first.

If you ask me, I’ll email you several pieces:

– Template showing how it looks

– A handful of questions you can answer to get your plan started

– A Project Tracker that helps you add detail to central goals of your plan

While this plan is aimed at guiding your actions for the coming year, it can also serve to show a potential financier.

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