Why do I need a business plan, you might ask? A business plan is the definitive guide to put you on the path of starting and growing your business to success, a clear road map to where you want your be and where you want it to be in 6 months, 12 months, or 5 years in your business. Without a business plan you will be lost, confused and stressed about where to begin. Here are 3 reasons why you need a business plan they are as follows:
- Entrepreneurs need a business plan to get their business off to a smooth transition from the planning phase to the launching phase of his or her business.
- A Business plan will guide the entrepreneur with a clear, focused vision for his or her business and stay on track with his or her business planning, goals and strategies and the growth and development of their business.
- A Business Plan reduces overwhelm and stress that the entrepreneur can experience in the first phases of starting and launching his or her business.
A business plan consists of 7 parts. They are as follows:
- The Executive Summary-overview of your business profile & history.
- Business Profile & Description-the name of your business, day, month and year start date and business structure type.
- Description of Operation, Organization and Management-who will operate and manage your business, when (days & hours) your business operate, the daily mode of operation, and organizational structure.
- Description of Products and Services-what products or services are you selling & what value they bring to your clients.
- Marketing & Sales Strategy-Who is your target audience and what outlets (e.g., social media) will you use to market your business to generate sales and income.
- Funding-how will you finance your business (e.g., business loan)
- Appendix (Optional)– consists of important business documents related to your business such as business licenses and permits.
Business plans are usually 10-20 pages long, however some of you may not have the time to do so, so I want to remind you that it can be shorter (4 to 5 pages). The executive summary can be written once all the other sections are completed because the executive summary basically summarizes all the sections of the plan.
Business branding is the unique identification of your business that makes your business consistently stand out from all the rest so that people recognize your business across social media and the blogosphere. Branding includes the following 6 elements:
Establishing Yourself As An Expert/Guru in Your Niche-this is most important part of branding yourself. You need to figure out your target audience, their issues and pains and provide value-based content on how you can help them.
Logo -the icon or picture) to represent your business.
Brand Colors or Color Palette -the colors you will choose to represent your business.
Inspiration– picture of objects or colors that inspired you in choosing your color palette.
Font Styles the size, color and weight of type characters within a digital manuscript
Tagline or slogan (optional) –e.g., Nike’s slogan “Just Do It”
“Good design encourages a viewer to want to learn more”-Alexander Isley
A branding board is a document that consists of all of the aforementioned elements; it gives you a visual of your branding elements. I created my branding board the other day and it was a fun activity. Here it is below:
This concludes this post on the importance of business planning & branding. I hope that you have gotten value from this. Please like, comment, and share. I have a freebie for you, a cheat sheet to writing a business plan that slays along with a accompanying checklist (like the one below). Get it here. The password is in the title. If you have any issue downloading let me know in the comments below.
Have A Blessed Day!
Rhonda, The Virtu Works Fore U Mompreneur
Virtually Here Fore U