Business Plan Requires a Strategic Plan

Entrepreneurs are a budding group who seek to accomplish what others fear, or lack the commitment to follow through with. At the heart of the first step every entrepreneur takes is developing a business plan. Most jet off to the nearest office store to purchase the best business plan kit possible. But now what?
Business Plan GraphicInitially, business plan kits overwhelm most entrepreneurs. What they felt was a seemingly well-defined idea and opportunity, suddenly seems weak, unproven, and not very well thought out. The air rushes from the balloon and the business plan kit goes to the back burner until the confidence can be restored. The initial reaction is typical, and often times weeds out the weakest — those who have no business breaking into the world of the self-employed. So, what’s the best way to approach writing a business plan?
Don’t buy the business plan kit
Write your own business plan initially, which enables you to keep the plan simple and focused on the idea at hand. There will be a time when the more complex planning kit might be needed; but now is not the time.
Focus on the basics
Keep your initial business plan to the basics of business; product/service description, customer definitions, marketing strategy, competition/competitive advantage, and basic financial projections for a 2 year period. Approach it with realism rather than excitement. Most likely, the business will require more money and effort than you think, and will return less than you hope.
Share the plan
Seek out a mentor, business owner, or successful professional you know. Share the business plan with that person and ask for their true feedback. Explain you are not interested in platitudes, but desire thoughts and ideas that might help you expand upon your initial efforts. Feel free to share it with 2-3 people. Although the people you share it with may not have any experience in the business, the feedback can still be valuable. Disinterested parties can often times make observations never considered.
Leverage connections
The initial people you share your plan with will often times know someone who can help your plan get to the next level. Leverage such relationships and do not forsake the trust established with the person who referred you. Don’t initially share a written version of the plan with your new contact. The time will come for that. Build rapport, discuss the concept, and introduce the plan when the opportunity seems right.
Be confident with the next steps
As you begin to build a relationship network, more doors for expanding your business plan opportunity will begin to open. At some point, with the help of a professional, you will need to build upon the initial business plan you authored. However, with such assistance, the chances of you becoming overwhelmed by all the details will be less likely.
Launching a business never travels a typical route. As such, authoring a business plan is seldom a typical process. Launching a successful business is often times based more upon the relationships you develop than the business plan you write. Focus heavily on developing those as you begin the exciting journey.