Crafting a Business Plan
We know what you’re thinking. As a marketing company, why would we want to talk to you about crafting a business plan? Well, often, the first question we ask a client is if they have a business plan because we use it to construct their marketing plan and strategy.
And often, the answer we get isn’t necessarily the one we hope to receive. Some small business owners neither have nor have tried to write a business plan! And as marketers and small business owners, we’re here to tell you - it’s a “make or break” for your business.
Having a plan is a sure-fire way to set your business up for success. So today, we’re going to give you some tips on how to craft a short (but sweet) plan for your business.
Keep It Short and Sweet
Unless you’re crafting a plan for funding, it’s essential to keep it short and sweet when it comes to your business plan. Only include the key components (noted below) that will guide your business throughout the year.
But keep in mind that a business plan is constantly in flux and should represent your business goals for the upcoming year. Essentially? Don’t plan too far ahead but always have a plan.
Critical Components of a Business Plan
Mission and Core Values
Short and Long Term Goals
Services and Products
Client Acquisition and Retention Strategies
Ideal Client + Marketing Strategy
Honesty is the best policy, and that’s true when it comes to a business plan too! As you’re crafting a plan for your small business, be honest with yourself. Is that goal too lofty? Are you reaching for the stars when you project financials? Is your budget on par with historical financials?
As you move through your business, make sure to challenge yourself but keep things realistic. Always consider your budget and how much time you’ll have to execute!
Brainstorm for Your Business
An essential part of your business plan is crafting a mission statement and vision statement, and it’s often the most challenging task for a small business owner to do. So we always recommend starting with a simple brainstorming session.
Here’s how to do it. Sit down and write out every word that describes your business. For example, when we think of Iron City Social, “women,” “Black,” “small business,” “marketing,” “empowerment,” and more come to mind. To better guide our business, we crafted a mission statement and core values to drive our business. We’ve noted both below as an example.
Iron City Social Mission Statement
At Iron City Social, we strive to support and educate small businesses regarding marketing, empowering them to reach their goals.
Iron City Social Core Values
Embodying integrity with every service we provide.
Collaborating with businesses for the betterment of our community.
Empowering womxn to break down barriers.
A culture of learning and a thirst for knowledge.
As you can see, our mission reflects the purpose of our business or the “why” behind it, while our core values serve as a guide to our team.
Don’t Forget the Budget
Crafting a budget for your small business isn’t much different from preparing a personal one. You still want to include both your fixed and variable costs while putting a plan in place to save for emergencies. The big difference here is using historical financial data to project sales growth.
But if you’re starting a new business, be modest. You don't want to overshoot your budget because you don’t have historical financial data to lean on.
Start simple with a spreadsheet or invest in software that allows for financial tracking and reporting. We know that setting and sticking to a budget can be difficult, but it’s a vital part of your business plan!
Get Your Biz Together | A Business Planning Workshop
Want more tips? Make sure to join us for “Get Your Biz Together” on Tuesday, February 8, here in Birmingham, Alabama. We’ll show you how to craft a business plan from start to finish and have a little fun while we’re doing it! You can reserve your spot by clicking here.