Week 1 – Creating the Millionaire Business Plan

Before I can get to where I want to be, I need to decide where I’m going.

In order to successfully move from a startup to established business you need a business plan, however the plan doesn’t have to be a 500 page tomb or take months to write in order to be a useful tool. Generally writing your plan should take you a couple of days, but it can be done it in as little as a few hours.

A quick Google search for “Business Plan Template” will produce literally hundreds of examples and you should choose a style or format that suits you and your business. Alternatively you can purchase software such as Business Plan Pro that will walk you step by step through the process and includes a plethora of examples for various business models.

So Where Do You Start?

By asking yourself a series of questions about the business, your goals and your future plans for the business. Keep in mind your goals should be SMART goals and you must be able to measure the success of achieving these goals. Hopefully at the end of the exercise you will have a “working plan” that you can use as a guide to get your business moving in the right direction.

What follows is an outline of the most important questions you need to answer. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it will provide you with the critical answers needed to complete your business plan.

The Business Vision

  • What is your vision for the business?
  • What will the business look like in 1, 3 & 5 years time?
  • What is your mission? Why are you starting this business, and what is the purpose?

Market Analysis

  • Who or what is you target market?
  • What is the total market valuation and what is your targeted share?
  • What are the market trends?
  • Who are you competitors?
  • What are your Stengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Treats? (SWOT Analysis)

Business Strategies

  • How are you going to build your business?
  • What is your sales strategy? What will you sell? How will you sell it?
  • What is your marketing strategy? where will you sell? Who will you sell to?
  • What is your unique selling proposition (i.e. what makes your business different from the competition)?

Financials

  • How much startup capital you will need to launch your business?
  • What do you estimate your business’s ongoing monthly expenses will be immediately after launch, in three months, in six months, and in one year?
  • What do you anticipate your business’s ongoing monthly income will be immediately after launch, in three months, in six months, and in one year?

Writing the Business Plan

Hopefully if you’ve answered all the questions, you’ll have enough information to write a comprehensive plan using your chosen template or software.  It’s worth pointing out that this document is going to be with you for quite a while and will be a ‘Live’ document, so being able to update it should not present any problems….

Business Plan for Investors

When attempting to raise capital finance for any business you can be sure a potential investor will ask for a copy of your business plan. I know this should be obviously but arriving at the meeting with a bundle of handwritten notes in a file folder simply will not do, yet a major UK bank confirms many entrepreneurs do just that.

TIP: Your Business Plan needs to be as professional and accurate as possible, but it also needs to contain ALL the information a prospective investor needs to make a decision. Therefore it is always worth asking the investor exactly what information they require and in what format. Don’t think doing this will show incompetence, far from it, your diligence and attention to detail may just make the difference between getting the funding and not!

Finally Write an Action Plan…

So you’ve answered all the questions,  written your business plan and established ‘where you want to be’, but you cant stop there! Now you need to determine ‘how you are going to get there’, and for that you need to create an action plan.

  • Firstly decide what are the specific action items and tasks you need to complete now, such as registering the business, opening a bank account etc.
  • Next break down the larger goals into manageable chunks and set milestones that need to be accomplished to achieve the goal.
  • Finally list what specific actions or tasks need to be accomplished to reach each those milestones.

Finally remember that a business plan is a ‘live’ working document! Add to it, amend it, but above all use it. It will do your business absolutely no good placed on a shelf on day one, never to be read again!

As always if you found this article helpful I would be truly grateful for a like or share below!

9 comments

  1. First of all Nigel, thank you you for following me on Twitter. I am your 633 follower on Twitter now.
    I just so happens that I have a fairly new business which is growing faster than I have gotten my neatly written business plan done.
    Thank you so much for lighting the fire under me to get it all typed up. My rough draft was still missing important elements that you covered here.
    Been enjoying your infectiously positive Tweets and now your posts! this is perfect as I am encouraged by my business leaders to read positive information like what you wrote on this post. thank you!

    • Hi Malika, Firstly thanks for following me on twitter, I am grateful. Secondly I’m glad I “lit a fire under you” lol. If you did need that little push then I am happy I could help.

      I’ve spoken with many ‘Successful’ Businessmen & Businesswomen, the one thing they all had in common was they had created and used a business plan. Many said that their plan had changed substantially as their businesses grew, but that essentially their plan was just updated and amended version of the original.

      I hope now that you’ve finished typing yours you’ll actually use it! Sound like you have a growing business, just ensure your plan takes this into account.

      Keep me updated on how things go with the new plan, I’d love to hear from you.

      Have Fun and Love what you do!

  2. Having read this I believed it was really informative. I appreciate you finding the time and effort to put this content together. I once again find myself personally spending a lot of time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

    • Glad you found the information informative and like you I spend a lot of time reading. It’s mpt such a bad thing 🙂

  3. Yes! Finally something about keywords.

  4. Hello, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam remarks? If so how do you stop it, any plugin or anything you can recommend? I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any help is very much appreciated.

    • One word… “Akismet”

      Used by millions, Akismet is possibly the best way in the world to protect your blog from comment and trackback spam. It keeps your site protected from spam even while you sleep. (the companies blurb, but completely true!!) Hope this helps.

      Nigel

  5. Sweet blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thank you

    • Hi and thanks. First of all get a Bing webmasters account and submit your sitemap. Yahoo is now owned by Microsoft so getting your blog indexed by Bing is a step in the right direction. Secondly, write original and unique content, that is easily readable, with about 1% of your content being keywords or phrases about the article topic. (sorry this is very basic, but I will be writing about this in greater depth in a future article).

      Unfortunately the how and why of Yahoo News selection is dependant on so many unknown variables, but from experience I know that news items are generally selected based on what is currently trending, how many other stories are out there at that moment and whether YOUR article is different enough from the others to generate increased traffic (and revenue) for them (Yahoo).

      Good Luck for the future

      Nigel

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